PTI/FYI e-news November/December 2013

As 2013 draws to a close, we would like to wish all of our friends in the produce industry and our fellow PTI volunteers a wonderful holiday season and a happy and prosperous New Year!

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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

Resources: New PTI Guidance on Benefits of Advance Ship Notice versus Hybrid Pallet Label

To provide more clarification on the differences between using the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Advance Ship Notice (ASN) transaction and the Hybrid Pallet Label (an interim solution for exchanging traceability data), the PTI Buyer Working Group has created a new guidance document outlining the benefits of ASNs versus using Hybrid Pallet Labels.

“The document focuses on identifying requirements for the successful use of ASNs and discusses when to use the Hybrid Pallet Label versus case scanning when ASNs are not possible,” said Ed Treacy, vice president of supply chain efficiencies at PMA and co-chair of the PTI Buyer Working Group. To download the document, click here.

Resources: New Best Practice Document for Use of Hybrid Pallet Labels by Receivers

The new Best Practice Document for Use of Hybrid Pallet Labels by Receivers was created by the PTI Buyer Working Group to assist receivers in when and how to use or require the Hybrid Pallet Label. Download the best practice document here.

News: Canadian Government Enters Next Phase in Food Safety Regulation Development

November 30th marked the end of the first phase of consultation on the regulations which will support the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA). The SFCA represents a complete overhaul of all regulations related to food safety and includes provisions around traceability. The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) worked with a core group of industry stakeholders from across the supply chain (the Regulatory Modernization Working Group) to review the consultative documents and provide comments to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to ensure the needs of the produce industry are considered when developing the draft regulations. Highlights of the Regulatory Modernization Working Group comments include:

These and other points were included in the comments submitted. CFIA will now enter a period of regulation writing which will culminate in a release of the draft regulations – likely in the May/June 2014 timeframe. Stakeholders will then have approximately two months to review and provide comments to CFIA before the regulations start the formal review process of Canada Gazette which is expected to result in regulations by early 2015. The Canada Gazette serves as a vehicle which facilitates the process of engaging the general public in voicing any concerns about the proposed regulations published in Part I. Canadians can actively contribute to the regulatory process by sending their comments or concerns on the subject under consultation to the appropriate department or agency.

CPMA’s Regulatory Modernization Working Group will continue to engage and provide comments at every stage in the regulatory process. All organizations doing business in Canada are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with all provisions included in the SFCA which include licensing, labelling, food safety preventative control plans specific to produce, and more.

News: GDSN Update from Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative

GS1 US and the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative announced important changes to food-related product information being shared through the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN), which enables the sharing of accurate and up-to-date data and information amoung trading partners. These changes, as recommended by the Initiative, will allow companies to better define product information and decrease data synchronization rejections.

The updated GDSN product attributes list includes new allergen flags, the addition of gluten and trans fat gram fields, and other detailed updates around nutritionals. To view an interactive guide with these changes, click here.

For restaurants and other foodservice operators and foodservice directors, this information is invaluable as they plan their menus and get ready for potential legislation around menu-labeling. Rather than scouring hundreds of thousands of manufacturer websites or relying solely on their distributors, operators can access the GDSN directly for important nutritional, allergen and other information about foodservice products as well as look at professional, standardized photos, cooking and storage instructions and more.

Operators in particular have led GS1 Standards adoption efforts in the last year, with major restaurant chains Subway/Independent Purchasing Cooperative, Wendy’s/Quality Supply Chain Co-Op, Inc., and DineEquity (Applebee’s, IHOP) in particular showing their support. Compass Group has even partnered with MyFitnessPal, a weight management app, to access GDSN information for its college student customers.

The goal of the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative is for 75 percent of the foodservice industry (measured by revenue) to adopt GS1 Standards by 2015.

PTI in the News

UPI: November 3, 2013 “Food traceability is a growing concern for both businesses and consumers who want to know exactly where their food is coming from, but the path of the global food supply is a winding one.”

Produce News: November 6, 2013 “We decided to take it above and beyond the Produce Traceability Initiative. Everything that we pack is now totally bar coded.”

Food Safety Magazine: December 2013 “In the food industry, bar codes are not only used to identify and capture product information, they also lay the groundwork for companies to establish their traceability programs and enhance food safety operations.”

The Packer: December 3, 2013 “A Produce Traceability Initiative pilot project testing the advance ship notice compared with the hybrid pallet label found big advantages in the first option.”

Andnowuknow: November 11, 2013 “PTI encourages produce companies to adopt the use of GS1 Standards and utilize the best practice industry participants developed to minimize the learning curve for small to medium size companies.”