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    Produce Trade Groups Launch Joint Traceability Web Site

    The new site aims to help produce companies and allied industries reach traceability milestones.

    North America's three leading produce trade associations have launched a new online resource to assist produce companies in the transition to new traceability measures proposed by the joint Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI).

    Administered by the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), Produce Marketing Association (PMA), and United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh), the new producetraceability.org site includes resources and educational tools for those wanting to learn more about the PTI, a list of companies that support the PTI, a bulletin board and Q&A section for industry questions and discussion, a news and events section, a press room containing recent news releases, headshots of spokespeople, contact information and an art gallery.

    "The Web site will be a great resource for any one who wants to know more about the PTI and how to meet the milestones that the steering committee recommended," said Cathy Green, COO of Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion and chair of the PTI steering committee. "There are still important industry questions that need to be answered, and we plan to use the Web site as an information forum."

    Since October 2008, more than 40 companies from throughout the produce supply chain have endorsed the recommendations developed by the PTI Steering Committee to move the supply chain to a common standard for electronic produce traceability by the end of 2012.

    The plan -- which involves adopting a standardized system of case bar-coding for all produce sold in the United States, to allow product to be tracked throughout the distribution chain -- will maximize the effectiveness of the industry's current traceability procedures, and improve external efficiencies and assist public officials during a product traceback. Intended to enhance overall supply chain traceability in speed and efficiency, a standardized system could significantly improve the industry's ability to narrow the impact of product recalls.

    For more information, visit Producetraceability.org.

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