PTI/FYI e-news Quarter 2 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

PTI Leadership Council Continues to Support Implementation Efforts

Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) Leadership Council (LC) members agree the industry needs to stay on course with PTI implementations based on the use of standardized product identification with Batch/Lot Numbers encoded in GS1-128 barcodes on case labels for improved traceability and precise recall preparedness. Read the full press release about the PTI LC meeting held on June 12 in conjunction with FMI Connect and United Fresh 2014 in Chicago.

In addition to working group updates and roundtable discussions about industry implementation challenges and strategic direction for PTI, the agenda for the meeting also included updates from the Food Marketing Institute, Global Food Traceability Center and GS1 US about the GS1 US Retail Grocery Initiative and the 2014 Foodservice GTIN/GDSN Sunrise.

Implementation Status Updates from LC companies

To drive implementation activities, PTI Leadership Council members also agreed at their bi-annual meeting to share their implementation status to continue the PTI momentum for both the grower/packer/shipper and buyer communities. Read the updates received by the Communication Working Group so far and visit the website periodically for updates.

FSMA Update

There’s been a lot of activity over the last few months regarding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) as well as other FDA policy issues. FSMA rule development has been progressing steadily over the past six months, with the latest news on FSMA implementation and requests from the FDA for comments on a number of proposed rules and policies.

FDA’s proposed approach for determining which foods the agency would “Designate as High-Risk Foods” – would trigger additional recordkeeping requirements to permit for rapid and effective traceability during a foodborne illness outbreak. Industry comments reflect the belief that FDA has taken an overly simplistic and broad-brush approach in identifying these foods. As proposed, all produce would likely be deemed “high-risk,” and our comments recommend this be revisited. Comments suggest that FDA consider using an integrated “food category” data and “individual entity data” approach to determine which entities that manufacture, process, pack or hold foods within a given food category should be designated as “high-risk food” producers. Based on this approach, businesses that have implemented robust and effective preventive controls wouldn’t need to provide additional tracing recordkeeping.

On May 1, the FDA issued a document outlining strategies for implementing FSMA, which includes capacity building, training and operational plans for the agency. The strategies called out two highly important pieces of information for our industry:

More about each of the proposed rules can be found at PMA FSMA Resource Center and United Fresh FSMA Resource Center.

E-Learning Modules for Product Identification and Traceability

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), Produce Marketing Association (PMA), United Fresh Produce Association, GS1 Canada and GS1 US have launched two e-Learning modules designed to assist produce industry stakeholders to learn how to identify their products along the supply chain and implement traceability processes for their businesses. You can access these courses in English and French here on the PTI website.

New Traceability Case Study: Chipotle Mexican Grill

National restaurant chain creates traceability program to advance its commitment to food safety by effectively engaging with a large network of supplier partners to share standardized product information at every step along the supply chain. Download the case study here.

PTI in the News

Supermarket News – Over 90% of produce cases coming from Walmart's suppliers are now labeled with PTI standard labels, executives said in a discussion on PTI progress on the show floor.

Institute of Food Technologists: June 2014 - Executives from five sponsoring industry associations supporting the work of the Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) recently shared with Food Technology how the GFTC will influence enhancements in food traceability, and commented on the roles and achievements of their fellow partnering associations, recognizing the collective desire to align and improve traceability processes for the food industry.

Enterprise Labeling: June 13, 2014 – Produce Traceability Initiative changing labeling requirements across the globe “…to ensure the proper tracking of produce along the supply chain, boosting consumer safety and reducing recall risks for producers. Many grocers and other firms have already embraced the effort.”