FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 25, 2010

PTI CALLS FOR WORKING GROUP VOLUNTEERS, GS1 US JOINS INITIATIVE

The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), designed to help the produce industry maximize traceback procedures and standardize its traceability practices, is forming industry-led working groups to guide its activities moving forward. Industry members from across the fresh produce supply chain are invited to volunteer their time and expertise to one or more of the newly formed working groups.

Meanwhile, GS1 US has joined Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh) as a PTI administering organization.

Volunteers wanted in four areas
Volunteers are being sought to assist four working groups that will drive key elements of the PTI's work moving forward:

  • Implementation Working Group: This volunteer group will guide and promote industry-wide adoption of GS1 standards at the foundation of the PTI, including developing best practices, identifying solutions to implementation issues, and tracking industry implementation.
  • Master Data Working Group: This volunteer group will address issues regarding identifying product attributes, and communicating that data between trading partners.
  • Industry Communications Working Group: This volunteer group will ensure two-way communication between the initiative and industry.
  • Technology Working Group: This volunteer group will provide a forum for technology providers to collaborate to support the initiative.

In addition, volunteers are being sought to participate in PTI-designed pilot projects, or to work with PTI to develop case studies of pilot projects their companies have completed. These volunteers can be at any stage of implementation of PTI milestones.

Interested associations and organizations are also invited to join the PTI's new Industry Association Interest Group, which is being created to allow interested industry associations to participate in the initiative.

Volunteers must be members in good standing of CPMA, GS1 US, PMA and/or United Fresh. Every effort will be made to accommodate all volunteers. Interested persons should contact Marlo Bodinizzo of GS1 US via email at mbodinizzo@gs1us.org by Sept. 27. Detailed descriptions of each working group's area of focus can be found on the PTI website at http://www.producetraceability.org/resources_tools/index.cfm.

All four working groups will report to a new PTI Leadership Council, which will replace the current Steering Committee structure. The PTI Leadership Council will include expanded involvement of leaders from across the produce supply chain, including retailers, foodservice operators and distributors, produce suppliers and wholesalers/terminal markets. It will also act as liaison to the GS1 US Foodservice Standards Initiative, a foodservice industry standardization initiative that is on a parallel track to the PTI, with respect to traceability. A graphic depiction of the PTI's new organizational structure can be found on the PTI website at http://www.producetraceability.org/resources_tools/index.cfm.

“This new structure will establish the platform for every industry member to become more involved with the PTI initiative,” said PTI Steering Committee Chair Cathy Green. “We believe this structure will create a more inclusive process that will benefit PTI and the industry alike.”

GS1 US joins administering organizations
GS1 US has joined CPMA, PMA and United Fresh as an administering organization of the PTI, as well as an integral part of the new governance structure. GS1 US will be represented by Bob Carpenter, its CEO. GS1 US will assist in administration and business of the new leadership council, working groups and pilot projects.

“GS1 US exists to help bring communities together to harness the power of standards to solve value chain problems, so supporting the PTI is a logical extension of our work in retail and more recently in the foodservice industry,” said Sabina Saksena, GS1 US senior vice president, community insights and strategic partnerships. She also noted that “the PTI is being watched as the model to follow by the rest of the fresh food industry, and we are committed to its success.”

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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.