PTI/FYI e-news Quarter 1 2015
In This Update
Sunkist Mock Recall Demonstrates Value of PTI
At the last Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) Leadership Council (LC) meeting in Anaheim, CA, LC member Robert Quinn, Director of Sales Operations, Sunkist Growers, reported on the value of being able to quickly and accurately locate product in a mock recall scenario.
“Our packinghouses have made a substantial investment to meet the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) recommendations to label all shipping containers with the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN),” said Quinn. “In a recent mock recall, the GTIN labeling system allowed us to quickly trace back to the grower level using the information printed on the label which saved us hours of investigating—time which would undoubtedly be critical in a potential recall scenario.”
Sunkist Growers is a citrus marketing cooperative, founded in 1893, which is owned by and operated for thousands of family farmers growing citrus in California and Arizona.
Sunkist’s current PTI status is 100% compliance in all domestic and export channels for carton/RPC product coming out of the United States. Another benefit of implementation Sunkist has seen is the ability to use PTI labels to settle claim disputes (i.e. correct size, grade, packing house etc).
FMI Brings Produce Traceability Expertise to Members
Rick Stein, vice president of fresh foods for Food Marketing Institute (FMI), knows produce safety is the job of the entire supply chain. He also knows supermarkets stand at the consumer frontline, which is why the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) matters to FMI members. Rick assumed his role as the FMI representative on the PTI Leadership Council at their June 2014 meeting in Chicago.
“Trust is achieved and maintained between the retailer and the consumer,” said Stein, who spent more than 30 years at Safeway prior to assuming his current role with FMI in 2014. “If a supermarket can tell its customers they aren’t carrying the [foodborne illness] impacted product, the consumer can remain confident. Trust is broken by selling something unsafe; by not pulling the product because the supermarket didn’t have the knowledge.”
One of the services FMI delivers to its members, Stein explained, is providing information that will help them connect with consumers. FMI’s involvement in PTI does just that, bringing meaningful content and education to FMI’s retail members to help maintain customer trust and ensure consumers buy safe products. The ability to quickly and accurately trace back where a food safety concern is in the produce supply chain is information critical to consumer communications.
Collaboration with other associations on relevant topics such as traceability also delivers value to members. Stein said retailers currently struggle with how to effectively and efficiently comply with PTI. Working with PTI places FMI in a better position to offer guidance on best practices for compliance and on staying ahead of regulations.
“Retailers are investing in fresh, and we want to ensure FMI represents ‘all four walls’ of the grocery store,” said Stein. “We want to build a community of fresh thought-leaders. Involvement in PTI helps us present information to raise our members’ acumen around traceability and contribute solutions.”
CPMA Presentation Highlights Traceability Alignment between Various Programs
At a recent industry event in Quebec, Jane Proctor, CPMA, spoke to the participants about the alignment between pending Canadian regulations, traceability components of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-benchmarked CanadaGAP (Good Agricultural Practices) program and PTI.
In countries where PTI is only being implemented by companies shipping to the U.S. it is important to note that PTI implementation supports the basic traceability and recall components of food safety protocols and fundamental regulatory requirements.
Upcoming Events and Resources for Traceability Education
Some highlights from the Retail and Foodservice Tracks at GS1 Connect include: “Transforming Business via GTIN Integration into Enterprise-Wide Use,” “The Benefits of Traceability in Foodservice,” and GS1 US University, a pre-conference program dedicated to basic, intermediate and advanced education on the use of GS1 Standards with industry-specific examples for product identification, barcode labeling and efficient sharing of supply chain data between trading partners.
Also coming up is the Institute of Food Technologists’ IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Chicago where Ed Treacy of PMA will share best practices for produce traceability. He will be a panelist for a 2-part session entitled Best Practices in Food Traceability on Sunday, July 17, which will examine requirements across different food sectors, supply chains, or countries for collection of Critical Tracking Events (CTEs) and Key Data Elements (KDEs).
In addition, the Global Food Traceability Center offers a variety of resources based on guidance of its Advisory Council and input from key stakeholders. Highlights include recently completed
Best Practices in Food Traceability for the Processed Food Sector On-demand Webcast, Enhancing Seafood Value Chain Traceability, Best Practices in Food Traceability – Guide for Regulators and more.