In This Update
PTI Leadership Council Holds its Biannual Meeting in Chicago
The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) Leadership Council (LC) held its biannual meeting on June 10 in conjunction with United Fresh 2015 in Chicago to discuss current activities and industry updates.
The PTI Implementation Working Group reported that two new documents are currently in review by the community, including Best Practices for Sharing Trace-Back Data and the Best Practices for Assigning Global Location Numbers (GLNs). Final publication of these documents is expected in August. While PTI continues to focus on traceability, uses of standardized product identification along with electronic data sharing create additional opportunities for supply chain visibility. These new best practices provide guidance for advanced uses of traceability information for those companies that are looking to take traceability to the next level.
On the regulatory front, Ron Lemaire, President of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, provided an update indicating that companies may move forward with PTI implementations and not be concerned about meeting the food safety requirements for Canada (CFIA). There are still questions being addressed with Quebec as this province requires both French and English language on the label. Once the guidelines for CFIA are publically available, they will be shared with the LC and posted to the PTI website at www.producetraceability.org.
Dan Vaché, Vice President of Supply Chain Management for the United Fresh Produce Association, informed the council about the final rules submitted to the Office of Management and Budget in the United States for Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals, Current Good Manufacturing and Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food, and the Foreign Supplier Verification Program. Industry is still waiting for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to identify high-risk foods that may need enhanced traceability and the proposed rules to support these efforts.
Industry Initiatives Updates from FMI and GS1 US
In an effort to keep the PTI and retail grocery industry closely aligned, Rick Stein, Vice President of Fresh Foods at the Food Marketing Institute underscored the need for more discussion with retailers about how they can align various efforts around all fresh food categories from the perimeter of the store. Plans are underway to address this issue at the FMI Sustainability conference later this year.
Other relevant industry initiatives actively working with all supply chain stakeholders are the GS1 US Retail Grocery Initiative and the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative. Ryan Richard, Senior Director in Industry Engagement at GS1 US, told the group industry is heavily focused on product information/images, supply chain visibility and operational efficiencies within retail grocery. The current use cases are traceability and on-shelf availability with 97 companies engaged in developing a roadmap to optimized business processes for these objectives.
At the same time and in parallel with the work of retail grocery, the foodservice industry is still tracking to meet the goal of 75% (by industry volume) use of GS1 Standards for product identification and data sharing. Currently there are eight operator programs that include case-level traceability using the GS1-128 barcode with additional operator programs being developed for near-near term implementation.
Chipotle Continues to Advance Its Traceability Program
Chipotle Mexican Grill has been on a traceability journey for several years sharing its learnings along the way about how this large organization worked collaboratively with its trading partner community to onboard its suppliers and be well on its way to implementing whole chain traceability.
Here are a few highlights from the presentation by Heidi Wederquist, Director, Quality Assurance & Food Safety – Supply Chain, and Andy Kennedy, President of FoodLogiQ and co-chair of the PTI Technology Working Group.
Whole chain traceability and transparency program elements at Chipotle:
How Critical Tracking Events are supported for whole chain traceability:
What will Chipotle get out of the program?
To read the full Chipotle traceability case study, click here.
Wholesaler-Specific PTI Practices and Insights Needed
Based on LC discussions, the PTI Buyer Working Group is looking to kick-start some information gathering about wholesaler specific practices and challenges regarding receiving, using and sharing case-level traceability information. With any questions, suggestions or other information to share, please contact Ed Treacy, Vice President of Supply Chain Efficiencies at PMA and Co-Chair of the Buyer Working Group, at [email protected] or any of the other administering organizations’ contacts listed on www.producetraceability.org/press-contact.
PTI in the News
Safe and Sound: The produce industry prepares for changes in food safety and traceability requirements - Progressive Grower (June 2015)
A.J. Trucco’s ‘TruStar’ line of branded products moving strongly - The Produce News (May 2015)