PTI/FYI e-news Quarter 3 2014

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

In This Update

PTI Leadership Council Meeting Update: Focus on Industry-Wide Preparedness for Case-Level Traceability at Distribution Centers in 2015

The PTI Leadership Council held its second semiannual meeting this year on October 17 in Anaheim, California, in conjunction with the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit 2014. The council’s executives, who represent every facet of the produce supply chain, discussed the progress industry is making toward meeting PTI milestones and implementing best practices. For the full press release about the PTI Leadership Council meeting, please click here.

Duda Farm Fresh Foods Reflects on PTI Implementation

Duda Farm Fresh Foods has been involved with the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) since its beginnings in 2008. David Best, Duda’s director of software services, says the company’s system is well in place, but remains a work in progress to ensure it reflects evolving standards, best practices and emerging technologies. One thing that’ll never change, said Best, is Duda’s goal: to produce healthy foods that are safe. “PTI will help protect the public in the event there was ever a recall by making product identification more efficient,” Best said.

Unlike the majority of grower/shippers, Duda’s PTI system has been custom built in house, and is incorporated into their warehouse management system.

“We have seven variations installed across the country, all custom to Duda and all in compliance with PTI best practices,” said Best.

PTI case labels are created in packing houses at the time products are packed, or sometimes even before products are packed, as well as in the field. These labels are printed with Duda’s own GTIN or with the brand owner’s GTIN for private label product.

Duda hopes to never witness a recall, however, the primary benefit of implementing PTI would be to speed product identification if this ever occurred. Best cites improved internal product tracking that resulted from tightening loopholes to bring internal systems up to PTI best practices. Best also said Duda broke even on Returnable Plastic Containers (RPC) label costs. “All RPCs had a label before PTI, now we’re just using a different label,” he said.

Furthermore, PTI has significantly increased traceability knowledge inside the company.

“For us, [PTI implementation] was a big project that lasted a number of years and involved a large number of people,” said Best. “We had traceability before, but not everybody was aware of the processes already in place. Now we have a breadth of people who are fully up to speed.”

Duda’s early PTI adoption makes Best highly familiar with challenges companies of all sizes face with implementation. His advice:

Updated HPL Best Practice Documents

To help alleviate inefficiencies on the loading docks, the PTI Implementation Working Group updated two best practice documents, Best Practice for Use of Hybrid Pallet Labels by Receivers and Best Practices for Formatting Hybrid Pallet Labels, to reflect an alternate method for using the Hybrid Pallet Label (printed and attached to the driver’s Bill of Lading). Click here for the updated documents.

Two Best Practices in Spanish Now Available

Thanks to GS1 Mexico, two best practice documents, PTI Practices for Preparing to Assign GTINs® and PTI Best Practices for Cross Docking and Load Only Services are now available in Spanish for the produce community.

You can access all these best practices and other resources here on the PTI website.

Update on Proposed Canadian Produce Regulations

As government consultation continues as part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) efforts to modernization regulation, CPMA has worked with both government and industry to ensure that regulations meet the needs of industry. Relative to traceability, CPMA has spent significant time with both government and industry to ensure clarity and functionality in the regulations, most recently after the release of the proposed regulatory language.

CPMA’s Regulatory Modernization Working Group, which includes Canadian and U.S. industry representatives, guides the input during the consultations.

In August CPMA submitted comments on traceability noting the following:

The newly announced CFIA updated schedule for its next steps to bring regulations into force is:

CPMA will review the proposed regulations when they are published and encourage industry to engage in this import effort.

PTI in the News

Perishable News - Today’s consumers desire to understand the health and nutritional benefits of the produce they buy. That’s why the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), an industry-wide effort aimed at creating a quick and efficient traceability process by electronically tracking produce from the farm fields to supermarket shelves, is vital.

Food Production Daily - For traceability to work, food industry stakeholders must create and share a common language on safety and sourcing, according to one industry expert.

Potato Grower - Many years ago there was a connection between the consumer and the farmer, and that connection created a level of trust. Before the days of large national retailers, local produce was a way of life and it was likely you knew the farmer who grew the food being sold at your corner grocery store. If you didn’t know him, you knew of him and where he was from.