Six down, one to go.
This year marks the year the final milestone in the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) should be completed.
Three produce organizations came together in 2007 to create the PTI, a voluntary, industry-wide effort aimed at creating a traceability process that will enable the quick and efficient electronic tracking and tracing of produce cases between supply chain members. (See our Jan. 2011 issue, page 30.)
Seven key milestones were identified to achieve a chain-wide, electronic traceability.
The first three milestones were completed in 2009:
Milestone No. 1. Obtain Company Prefix, Complete by Q1 2009.
Milestone No. 2. Assign Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), Complete by Q1 2009.
Milestone No. 3. Provide GTIN Information to Buyers, Complete by Q3 2009.
Three out of the four remaining milestones were to be completed at the end of 2011:
Milestone No. 4. Show Human Readable Information on Case, Complete in 2011.
All those packing the product should be ready to print or affix human readable information specifying the GTIN and lot number on every case of produce shipped.
Milestone No. 5. Encode Information in a Barcode on Case, Complete in 2011.
Concurrently, those packing the product should be ready to encode the GTIN and lot number in a GS1-128 barcode, which can be accurately scanned and recorded by buyers and receivers.
Milestone No. 6. Read and Store Information on Inbound Cases, Complete in 2011.
All buyers, receivers and subsequent handlers of cases should have systems in place to read barcodes and electronically store the GTIN and lot number from each case of produce received.
Finally, this year will see the completion of the seventh and final milestone:
Milestone No. 7. Read and Store Information on Outbound Cases, Complete in 2012.
All buyers, receivers and subsequent handlers of cases should have systems in place to read and store the GTIN and lot number for all outbound cases of produce. This final step provides complete information on when the product left your facility, thus completing electronic connectivity of case data across the total supply chain.
In a webinar on Dec. 14, Redline Solutions CEO Todd Baggett and COO Chris Davis explained the steps needed to comply with the PTI milestones, the tools needed for compliance, how to extend these tools to growers, packers and cooler partners and how PTI information can be used to improve internal operations.
Baggett says that what is required for PTI Compliance is to:
1) Capture GTIN/Lot Number information on in-bound shipments.
2) Print-and-apply a PTI label to each case of product, which will include the lot number and can trace back to pack date and location. Pack lots need to trace back to source lots. The GTIN identifies the supplies and product.
3) Track which lots and items are shipped to which customer. Cases should be tracked to pallets, which include any changes to pallets. It will be the responsibility of the shipper to track from the field or packing line through the cooler to shipment.
4) Place hybrid pallet tags on every pallet shipped.
5) Maintain electronic records containing lot and GTIN information.
Visit www.producetraceability.org and www.redlinesolutions.com.