NEWARK, Del. — About 100 produce suppliers have registered to use the Produce Marketing Association’s database of GTINs (global trade item numbers), with 70 having entered data, said Ed Treacy, PMA’s vice president of supply chain efficiencies.
The database facilitates the transfer of GTINs to retail buyers, allowing the buyers to download the information into their POS systems so that cashiers can scan the corresponding GS1 U.S. DataBar on loose/bulk items. The database is free to PMA members and cost non-members a one-time $500 fee.
Treacy said that most of the registered suppliers entered GTINs into the database after Kroger, Cincinnati, sent a letter in mid-2010 to its produce suppliers requesting that they use the DataBar on their produce stickers (along with traditional PLU codes) and send the corresponding GTIN information to the PMA’s database by that date. “We saw a lot of activity in the third and fourth quarter,” he said. Kroger stores began scanning the DataBar on loose produce last year, helping to improve the accuracy of produce checkout.
When more large retailers make similar requests of their produce suppliers, Treacy expects to have 95% of suppliers providing GTIN data to the database and applying DataBars to their loose produce stickers.