PTI Plans Pilot Program, Modifies Milestone Dates

The Produce Marketing Association joined with the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association to restate the plan for the Produce Traceability Initiative.

NEWARK, Del. — The Produce Marketing Association this week joined with the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association to restate the plan for the Produce Traceability Initiative.

The goal of the initiative has remained unchanged, but the groups have moved the voluntary deadlines for milestones four and five — which call for the case labeling of produce and the encoding of information on a barcode — to 2011, where they will coincide with milestone six, which calls for reading and storing information on inbound cases.

"What is not changing is the commitment that our associations and the PTI have to the GS1 standards, the 2012 endpoint for implementation and the voluntary nature of the plan," said Bryan Silbermann, president and chief executive officer of PMA, during a media conference call.

The groups also announced that they will launch pilot programs to help the industry determine best practices. One of the key issues for retailers is how they will capture outbound data from a retail distribution center all the way to the store, noted Tom Stenzel, president and chief executive officer of United Fresh.

"Let's just figure out together how we're able to link all those internal traceability systems to create that whole chain traceability from farm all the way to the individual store," Stenzel said.

Read More of Today's Headlines [2]