FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 23, 2014

Produce Traceability Initiative to Focus on Industry-Wide Preparedness for Receiving Produce Cases with Case-Level Traceability Data at Distribution Centers in 2015

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 that industry-wide preparedness for receiving produce cases with GS1-128 barcodes encoded with standardized product identification and Batch/Lot Numbers at the distribution center level will need to be the focus area for PTI in 2015. The Leadership Council, representing 32 companies in the produce industry, held its semiannual meeting last week in conjunction with PMA’s Fresh Summit 2014 in Anaheim, CA, and affirmed the industry needs to continue to share learnings from implementations as the buyer community is preparing to upgrade systems and modify processes in anticipation of proposed rules for traceability under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

“We had a very engaged and energizing discussion about where the industry needs to direct its attention in the coming year in terms of PTI,” said Doug Grant, co-chair of the PTI Leadership Council and Executive Vice-President and Chief Operations Officer of The Oppenheimer Group. “Several supply side companies talked about the positive results of mock recalls they have conducted utilizing PTI labels and best practices.”

As one of the outcomes of the meeting, two major retailers have made an offer to conduct an evaluation and process review on the use of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) transactions that would support traceability processes.

Council members also shared other implementation benefits, including the rapid and precise identification of recalled product, and emphasized the importance of striving toward industry-wide preparedness for recording and storing case-level traceability information for cases of produce received at the distribution center (PTI Milestone 6). In 2015, PTI working groups will convene as needed to support this goal along with driving the use of Advance Ship Notice (ASN) in the industry, revisit the use of the voice pick code, and update best practice documents as appropriate based on implementation outcomes.

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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.