FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 18, 2013

Working Groups to Release New Guidance Documents and Case Study

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
CPMA: Paul Renaud, prenaud@cpma.ca, 613-226-4187, ext 225
GS1 US: Krisztina Vida, kvida@gs1us.org, 609-620-8042
PMA: Meg Miller, mmiller@pma.com, 7302-738-7100 ext 3031
United Fresh: Ray Gilmer, rgilmer@unitedfresh.org, 202-303-3425

Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) Leadership Council members agree the use of the Advance Ship Notice (ASN) is the preferred method for exchanging traceability data between trading partners in the produce industry. As a result of industry’s implementation efforts with ASNs and the Hybrid Pallet Label—which is an interim option for the industry to communicate traceability data between trading partners—the PTI Buyer Working Group, in collaboration with other PTI working groups, has developed two new guidance documents examining the uses and benefits of both methods.

The Leadership Council, representing 32 companies in the produce industry, held its semiannual meeting this week in conjunction with the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Fresh Summit in New Orleans, and is in the final stages of approving the release of the “PTI Guidance on Benefits of ASN versus Hybrid Pallet Labels” and “PTI Best Practice for Use of Hybrid Pallet Labels by Receivers.” The Council also discussed the need for PTI working groups to help identify simplified e-commerce solutions allowing all industry participants to continue progress toward PTI implementation.

“The ASN provides order and shipment information in one electronic transaction sent from the supplier to the receiver,” said Doug Grant, co-chair of the Leadership Council and Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of The Oppenheimer Group that recently published the results of the company’s ASN pilot project in a case study now available on the PTI website at http://www.producetraceability.org/.

In other business, the council discussed PTI implementation activities and challenges, including the need to document the progress made by both the grower/packer/shipper and buyer communities.

“The PTI Leadership Council encourages companies to update or complete the PTI self-reporting scorecard available on the PTI website, so that we can continue to gain better insight into how far our industry has come,” said Mike Agostini, Senior Director, Produce, Wal-Mart Stores, co-chair of the PTI Leadership Council.  

The council has agreed to ask PTI volunteer companies through all the various working groups to complete the scorecard by November 15.

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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.