Timelines for New Produce Traceability Standards Under Discussion

The next meeting of the Produce Traceability Initiative, slated for April 11 in Boston, will focus on establishing a timeline for a series of milestones for recording traceability data on produce shipments, said Gary Fleming, vice president, industry technology and standards, Produce Marketing Association here.

NEWARK, Del. — The next meeting of the Produce Traceability Initiative, slated for April 11 in Boston, will focus on establishing a timeline for a series of milestones for recording traceability data on produce shipments, said Gary Fleming, vice president, industry technology and standards, Produce Marketing Association here. Launched this year, the initiative aims at driving broad adoption of long-overlooked traceability standards and practices throughout the produce supply chain. The milestones that have been set include establishing company prefixes for brand owners; assigning GTINs (global trade identification numbers) to produce cases; showing GTINs, lot numbers and packing/harvesting dates on each case; encoding this information in bar codes; and reading and storing the information at each point in the supply chain. “[Retail and foodservice] buyers are discussing what they are willing to commit to,” said Fleming. “That will be a large part of the conversation on April 11.”

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