PTI/FYI e-news Quarter 1 2014

For more information, contact Jane Proctor at CPMA, Thomas Marchisello at GS1 US, Ed Treacy at PMA and Dan Vaché at United Fresh.

In This Update

Wal-Mart PTI Implementation Update

Mike Agostini, Senior Director, Produce, Wal-Mart Stores, and co-chair of the PTI Leadership Council, provided a brief update to the Executive Committee in February about Wal-Mart’s PTI implementation.

As per the Wal-Mart Sam’s Club letter issued last year, suppliers of fresh commodity produce were requested to have standardized case labels consistent with PTI best practices on product delivered to Wal-Mart Distribution Centers by January 1, 2014. According to Agostini, the implementation program is progressing well with most suppliers prepared with PTI case labels. To reinforce the program, Wal-Mart commenced issuing A (-) minus rejections in February. Exemptions have been granted in good faith for suppliers who show due diligence but require more time to prepare. Very few hard rejections have been necessary to this point.

Wal-Mart is also getting well into PTI label implementation on the import side of the business and their supplier partners are responding favorably.

“Even without systematic inbound tracking, we are seeing benefits at DC and store level. PTI standardized labels are already contributing to productivity gains as well as enhanced traceability,” Agostini said. “Product is located in the coolers faster and turned around more efficiently to stores.”

Call to Action: Update or Complete your PTI Scorecard

The PTI Scorecards for growers, packers, shippers and buyers have been developed to gauge industry progress toward reaching PTI milestones. It takes only a few minutes to complete, but the results will give your trading partner community important information about your implementation status while also documenting PTI progress. Please take some time NOW to complete or update your PTI Scorecard here.

Join Task Group to Develop Best Practice for Printing and Applying HPLs

While the preferred method for exchanging traceability data is using Advance Ship Notices (ASNs) with Serial Shipping Container Codes (SSCCs), the PTI Implementation Working Group recently discussed the challenges of printing and applying Hybrid Pallet Labels (HPLs) just before loading pallets. If you are interested in joining the task group that was formed to create a best practice document on this topic, please contact Ed Treacy at PMA.

E-Learning Modules on Product Identification and Traceability Coming Soon

Two of the sometimes confusing supply chain processes in the produce industry will be a bit easier to understand with two e-learning modules scheduled to be released in April by the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, Produce Marketing Association, United Fresh Produce Association, GS1 Canada and GS1 US. The modules are designed to assist produce industry stakeholders to learn how to uniquely identify their products along the supply chain and implement traceability processes for their businesses.

The modules will be available in both English and French and accessible from each organization’s websites. Keep an eye on the Official PTI LinkedIn Group for a notice about exact timing for the release of these educational materials.

IFT Releases Special Supplement “Making Traceability Work”

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) recently published a supplement of its peer-reviewed scientific journal, Journal of Food Science. The supplement “Making Traceability Work” aims to catalyze and jump start the process of achieving a multi-disciplinary, cross-functional, whole community approach to food traceability.

Within the supplement, there are peer-reviewed articles on the proceedings of the three Traceability Research Summits conducted by IFT where 50 subject matter experts from across the food and technology sectors convened to discuss firstly, what do we mean by traceability, then how can we pragmatically achieve it, and finally, why is it important to do so. This set the stage for pre-competitive multi-stakeholder cross-sector collaboration in moving the food industry towards improved traceability. Read more here.

Foodservice Community Launches Sunrise Campaign to Accelerate GS1 Standards Adoption

As the Foodservice GS1 Standards initiative continues to work toward improving product information, supply chain efficiencies and food safety, an industry-wide sunrise date has been set for the adoption of Global Trade Item Number® and Global Data Synchronization Network™ (GDSN™) by December 31, 2014. The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) and 20 leading distributor members have recently sent a letter endorsing the industry-wide “sunrise date” across their manufacturer communities, including produce suppliers.

The main goals of the “Sunrise” campaign are to identify products in the foodservice supply chain using GTINs and GS1 barcodes and to exchange complete and accurate product information across the foodservice supply chain through the use of the GDSN. This benefits all trading partners by establishing a common standard for item identification and product attribute exchange. Trading partners such as restaurants will also be able to use the enhanced information to meet menu-labeling needs and consumer demands for nutritional, allergen, and gluten-free transparency.

PTI in the News

Food Processing: March 12, 2014 - Editor Kevin Higgins describes the value of PTI in the food industry. "Food passes through many hands between the farm and the fork, which is why one-up, one-down traceability and rapid communication with trading partners is critical."

Food Online: February 3, 2014 - Walmart Is Blazing a Trail In Traceability Standards “…to create transparency in the supply chain so our customers can be confident in the freshness of the produce they are bringing to their families.”