Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) Leadership Council members agree the increasing percentage of produce cases marked with PTI labels is a reassuring sign that momentum for PTI continues supported by buyers who are preparing to receive labels later this year.
The Leadership Council, representing 32 companies in the produce industry, held its biannual meeting last week in conjunction with United Fresh 2013 Discover Fresh Horizons event in San Diego, Calif. and reported that buyers are seeing between 22 and 50 percent of produce cases with PTI labels at their distribution centers and other facilities.
The council discussed implementation activities and progress made by both the grower/packer/shipper and buyer community, including a pilot project report about the benefits of using Advance Ship Notices (ASNs) as an alternative to hybrid pallet tags to facilitate sharing Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), Batch/Lot Numbers, and other key data elements useful for produce traceability.
The council also reviewed comments the four administering organizations of the PTI are planning to submit to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to the traceability recommendations made by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in support of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Members agreed to provide joint comments from the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, GS1 US, Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association on behalf of their members to express that PTI guidelines and best practices are in alignment with IFT traceability recommendations, conveying that the associations are not suggesting additional regulations are needed beyond the current law. Once finalized, the comments will be available on the PTI website prior to the submission deadline of July 3, 2013 to the FDA.