PTI FYI e-news: July/August 2013

What’s new with the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI)? This edition of PTI FYI includes:

In This Update

For more information, contact CPMA’s Jane Proctor, GS1 US Angela Fernandez, PMA’s Ed Treacy and United Fresh’s Dan Vaché.

In This Update

News: PTI Administering Associations Submit Comments to FDA

The four administrating organizations of the PTI have submitted comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) traceability recommendations in support of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The comments are in support of IFT’s recommendations and reference the work the PTI has done in understanding industry needs and challenges and developing best practices for case-level electronic traceability. In addition, the document underscores the PTI administering organizations’ commitment to continuing to work with FDA to facilitate market-based solutions to enhance overall tracking efficiency and speed within the produce industry. Comments are posted on the PTI website here.

Resources: Top PTI Questions As a Result of Retailer Activity

As more leading retailers request standardized case labels consistent with PTI best practices, produce organizations are reaching out to PTI administrating organizations for clarifications and assisting resources. Here are some top questions we’ve received, and the best practices that provide more detailed answers.

Multiple growers have asked if during field packing operations the lot number can be used across multiple days, if the actual pack date is shown on the label in the correct format. This is standard practice and the PTI Best Practice for Formatting Case Labels provides more information on this specific topic.

Some retailers asking for PTI compliance may request that their suppliers provide voice pick codes to link cases to store deliveries. For assistance generating a voice pick code, please visit the Voice Pick Code Calculator.

Direct print of buyer required information on corrugated cases is acceptable in most instances and the PTI Best Practice for Direct Print provides assistance to ensure barcode print quality.

For additional information and a listing of all PTI Best Practices, please visit the tools and resources page.

News: Foodservice Operators Share Traceability Stories

Leading restaurant companies and other operators like Applebee's/IHOP, Wendy's, Subway/IPC, Compass Group and more are embracing GS1 Standards for traceability and enhanced nutritional information. Read the stories they shared at GS1 Connect 2013 here or read the full July-August update from the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative here.

Events: Upcoming Opportunities to Learn More about PTI

September 19, 2013 – Miami, FLorida

The Peruvian Asparagus Importers Association will host a PTI Workshop on Thursday, September 19 at the Double Tree by Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center in Florida. Ed Treacy from PMA and Dan Vaché from United Fresh will provide an overview of PTI milestones, best practices and implementation progress in the industry. Representatives from all produce categories are welcome to attend. To learn more and register, please contact Priscilla Lleras at [email protected] or 1.817.793.3133.

Oct. 23, 2013 – Toronto, Canada

Join PMA's Ed Treacy on October 23 at 3:15 pm at the Fourth Annual Food Regulatory & Quality Assurance Summit at The Double Tree Toronto Airport for a session entitled Reinforce Your Traceability Program to Ensure Product Quality and Improve Your Value Chain. Learn more and register here.

News: IFT Launches Global Food Traceability Center

On July 12, The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Board of Directors approved the launch of a new food traceability center designed to protect and improve our global food supply. The Global Food Traceability Center will serve as an authoritative, scientific, and unbiased source for food traceability. Currently there is no single entity, public or private, that brings together key stakeholders in the agri-food system to collaborate on providing timely product tracing solutions. Two of the PTI administering organizations, GS1 US and PMA, are founding partners of the center. To learn more, visit

PTI in the News

Growing Magazine: June 2013 "Right now our unaudited (PTI) studies show anywhere from 20 to 35 percent of cases are labeled for PTI compliance"

Produce News: July 11, 2013: “The recent announcement by Walmart that its produce suppliers have to be compliant with the Produce Traceability Initiative by the end of the year should give the concept the impetus it needs to become the industry standard sooner rather than later.”

Produce News: July 12, 2013: “Dan Vaché, vice president of supply chain management for the United Fresh Produce Association, said the technology providers have worked through the issues and have solutions for shippers and retailers and everyone in between.”

HarvestMark: August 1, 2013: “Walmart (or any retailer) could completely implement the PTI without scanning a single PTI barcode.”

For more news, visit the PTI website.