FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 3, 2012

Produce Traceability Initiative Survey Finds Widespread Progress Toward All Milestones

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 2, 2012

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
CPMA: Lianne Wand, lwand@cpma.ca, 613-226-4187, ext 225
GS1 US: Jon Mellor, jmellor@gs1us.org, 609-620-4656
PMA: Meg Miller, mmiller@pma.com, 302.738.7100, ext 30xx
United Fresh: Ray Gilmer, rgilmer@unitedfresh.org, 202-303-3425

Produce Traceability Initiative Survey Finds Widespread Progress Toward All Milestones
• Suppliers lead adoption – more than 84 percent communicating identifiers to receivers
• Most brand owners far along and working toward final milestone
• Suppliers say more adoption from buyers needed to fulfill PTI vision

DALLAS (May 2, 2012) – A recent survey to gauge produce industry members’ adoption of the seven Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) milestones indicates companies are making widespread progress. The findings were announced here today after a presentation at the PTI’s Leadership Council meeting, held in conjunction with United Fresh 2012.

The PTI began in 2008 as a voluntary initiative to achieve supply chain-wide adoption of electronic traceability of every case of produce by the end of 2012.

A diverse group of 228 companies representing all produce industry sectors and a broad array of sizes responded to invitations to complete the survey, led by four categories: growers, packers/repackers, shippers, and distributors. Demand-side respondents, comprising distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, and wholesalers or terminal markets, constituted 23 percent of the respondents.

The survey was open to all produce companies, regardless of whether they have been active in PTI activities.

About 84 percent of responding suppliers reported they are communicating GS1 Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) to receivers, while 77 percent of all brand owners said that they have assigned GTINs to some or all of their produce cases. 

Meanwhile, 88 percent of receivers report they are receiving cases with incoming GTINs, and 75 percent of receivers report they are reading or planning on reading data on some or all inbound cases. Receivers lag suppliers on implementations, but are making headway, with 43 percent of receivers reporting they are totally or partially equipped for reading inbound PTI-recommended data, and 40 percent of receivers storing all or some data on inbound cases.

Relatively few companies declared an unwillingness to participate in the initiative, with only 7 percent of brand owners saying they do not plan to meet the entry-level milestones.

"We are very pleased with the results from the survey," said Cathy Green Burns, co-chair of the PTI Leadership Council and President of Food Lion.  "We've made great progress with this initiative, especially among suppliers who are leading the way with traceability implementation.  Based on the survey results, we plan to redouble our efforts to engage buyers to complete our vision of whole-chain traceability."

Co-chair Doug Grant, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of The Oppenheimer Group, concurred. “We have so many companies and individuals making progress against the PTI milestones, and these survey numbers take us beyond the anecdotal to demonstrate to the industry and those watching the industry just how far we’ve moved the needle. The industry should be proud.”

Respondents also indicated that they want the PTI administering organizations – the Produce Marketing Association, Canadian Produce Marketing Association, GS1 US and United Fresh – to continue providing education and communications on PTI issues after the end of the year, as companies continue to hit milestones and focus on implementations.

About the PTI:

The Produce Traceability Initiative, sponsored by Canadian Produce Marketing Association, GS1 US, Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association, is designed to help the industry maximize the effectiveness of current traceback procedures, while developing a standardized industry approach to enhance the speed and efficiency of traceability systems for the future. The PTI’s bold vision outlines a course of action to achieve supply chain-wide adoption of electronic traceability of every case of produce by the year 2012.

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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 200,000 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-based 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.