FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 15, 2010

The newly-formed Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) Leadership Council met Oct. 13 to begin implementing the industry-led governance structure for the initiative moving forward.

The group’s inaugural meeting included an orientation to the PTI’s new governance structure, including the council, a forthcoming Executive Committee, and its working and interest groups. Council members, who include retailers, foodservice executives and growers, shared their implementation plans and experiences, and provided their input on the PTI’s development moving forward. In the process, they validated PTI’s goal of whole-chain, electronic traceability and its milestones. Chairs and co-chairs of the PTI’s new working groups provided updates on their groups’ initial meetings.

“It was gratifying to see the industry reconfirm their ownership of this initiative, the entire group was extremely committed throughout the meeting,” said PTI Leadership Council Chair Cathy Green, president of Food Lion Family. “The group members were very candid and transparent in their feedback about PTI, and are eager to begin moving forward with the implementation of PTI throughout the industry.† We look forward to continuing to make progress on this important initiative and working collaboratively to advance PTI in the future.”

In its first official action, the council approved a proposal from the new Implementation and Technical Working Groups to update the labeling requirements to include a four-digit voice pick code. This change will help overcome a barrier to implementation of Milestone 7 (“Read and store information on outbound cases”). The council adopted the open-source Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) 16 algorithm to calculate the voice pick code, which will eliminate the need to scan outbound cases in those operations that utilize a voice-directed picking system. The Implementation Working Group will conduct pilot tests and develop best practices to aid industry in implementing this “PTI voice pick code” solution.

The council will meet every other month; the next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 6.

The PTI is administered by Canadian Produce Marketing Association, GS1 US, Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association. For more information about these organizations and the PTI, visit www.producetraceability.org.

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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.