FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 18, 2014

Produce Traceability Initiative Leadership Council Continues to Support Implementation Efforts for Industry-wide Adoption of Standardized Case Level Traceability and Improved Recall Preparedness

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
CPMA: Sue Lewis, slewis@cpma.ca, 613-226-4187, ext 225
GS1 US: Krisztina Vida, kvida@gs1us.org, 609-620-8042
PMA: Meg Miller, mmiller@pma.com, 302-738-7100 ext 3031
United Fresh: Ray Gilmer, rgilmer@unitedfresh.org, 202-303-3425

Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) Leadership Council 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.

The Leadership Council, representing 32 companies in the produce industry, held its semiannual meeting last week in conjunction with FMI Connect and United Fresh 2014 in Chicago.
“The PTI Leadership Council continues to encourage companies large and small in the produce industry to follow PTI best practices,” said Mike Agostini, Senior Category Director, Produce, Wal-Mart Stores, co-chair of the PTI Leadership Council. “In just seven months of PTI implementation at Wal-Mart, we have seen significant increases in PTI case labels on products, and we are already seeing important benefits in supply chain efficiencies resulting from our implementation.”

The Council has also emphasized that industry-wide adoption of the use of Advance Ship Notice, an Electronic Data Interchange transaction, for exchanging traceability data, as well as the outbound recording of the GS1-128 barcode data on cases of produce from distribution centers to retail stores and foodservice operations are critical to ensuring that the vision of PTI is fully realized.

In other business, the Council announced updates to the PTI website have been completed to better organize the tools and resources available to industry members in support of PTI implementations. In addition, council members agreed to share their implementation challenges and success stories via the Initiative’s website at www.producetraceability.org to drive activities and continue the PTI momentum for both the grower/packer/shipper and buyer communities.

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About the Canadian Produce Marketing Association
Based in Ottawa, Ontario, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) is a not-for-profit organization representing over 770 Canadian and International member companies that are active in the marketing of fresh fruits and vegetables in Canada from the farm gate to the dinner plate. CPMA members represent all segments of the fresh produce industry. CPMA's vision is to enable and lead the produce industry by enhancing the market and facilitating trade of fresh fruits and vegetables for its members.  For more information about CPMA, please visit www.cpma.ca.

About GS1 US
GS1 US, a member of GS1, is an information standards organization that brings industry communities together to solve supply-chain problems through the adoption and implementation of GS1 standards. More than 300,000 businesses in 25 industries rely on GS1 US for trading-partner collaboration and for maximizing the cost effectiveness, speed, visibility, security and sustainability of their business processes. They achieve these benefits through solutions based on GS1 global unique numbering and identification systems, bar codes, Electronic Product Code (EPC®)-based Radio Frequency Identification (RFID, data synchronization, and electronic information exchange. GS1 US also manages the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC®). www.GS1US.org

About Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing business solutions that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit www.pma.com.

About United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh)
Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association serves companies at the forefront of the global fresh and fresh-cut produce industry, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and Western Regional office in Salinas, Calif., United Fresh and its members work year-round to make a difference for the produce industry by driving policies that increase consumption of fresh produce, shaping critical legislative and regulatory action, providing scientific and technical leadership in food safety, quality assurance, nutrition and health, and developing educational programs and business opportunities to assist member companies in growing successful businesses. For more information, visit www.unitedfresh.org.