Our Newsletter:
Traceability Insider

August 2014
How Digitization is About to Change the Rules of Your Business

June 2014
Food Waste, We are Fed Up, and a Gladson Case Study

May 2014
Ag Tech and the Power of Catchy Criticism

March 2014
Labels are Soooo 1990, “Thorny” food labeling law

January 2014
Oxymoronic Grocery Predictions and Big Data for the Produce Industry

December 2013
The Gift of Growing – Helping Kids Get Their Hands Dirty!

November 2013
Produce Brand Strategy, Visibility and Transparency

September 2013
A "Lean" Supply Chain, Knowing your Shopper

April 2013
Food Waste, The Rolling Stones, Raley's, and Tanimura & Antle

March 2013
First Look! FDA Releases IFT Traceability Report and Lessons from Europe's Horsemeat Crisis Every Fresh Food Brand Should Learn

January 2013
What Does the Future Hold?

September 2012
"Locale" Produce and Reducing the Impact of Recalls

January 2012
Making the Case for Traceability

September 2011
GTINs – the Devil Is in the Details

August 2011
Turbocharge Mobile Marketing with HarvestMark and QR Codes

May 2011
Traceability Insider

January 2011
It's a New Year. What's the latest on PTI?

May 2010
HarvestMark Makes its VoiceCode™ Solution Open Source

December 2009
IFT Publishes Traceability Report for FDA

Holiday Issue 2009
What Happened at the FDA/USDA Hearing on Food Traceability

September 2009
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

August 2009
How to Avoid Synching Without Trace

July 2009
What's the Value of PTI?

May 2009
Case-Level and Item-Level Traceability-What You Need to Know

April 2009
Still Have Questions about PTI? Don't Worry, You're Not Alone

March 2009
PTI, GS1, GTIN, GLN? HarvestMark's Got the FAQs

January 2009
The First PTI Milestone is Around the Corner

December 2008
A Pivotal Year for Food Safety

November 2008
FDA Solicits Public Comment on Enhanced Produce Traceability

October 2008
Produce Traceability Initiative Action Plan Released

September 2008
How Will Greater Transparency Enhance Your Business?

Español - 01 2012
Elaborando el Caso para Trazabilidad

Español - 03 2012
La Más Reciente Norma de la FDA es Efectiva Inmediatamente. ¿Debería Usted Estar Preocupado?

August 2013
How Walmart Could Implement PTI, Crowdsourced Shopper Insights

June 2010
How to Interpret the PTI announcement of "Goal Unchanged, Milestones Adjusted"

December 2010
An Update on the PTI

July 2010
Produce Traceability in Foodservice

February 2010
What's Going on with the PTI

March 2010
Consumer Attitudes to Traceability

August 2010
HarvestMark Launches Consumer Campaign in Portland, OR

March 2011
Have you heard of the PLU DataBar Initiative?

November 2011
Traceability? There’s an App for That

December 2012
It’s all new. Introducing HarvestMark 2013.

March 2012
The FDA's Latest Ruling is Effective Immediately. Should You be Worried?

June 2012
Do QR Codes REALLY Drive Shopper Engagement?

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September 2011: GTINs – the Devil Is in the Details


Earlier this year there was debate over how detailed a GTIN should be. In other words – should an 11 lb. case of grapes in clamshells have a different GTIN from the same grapes packed in bags? What about RPC labels? Should the GTINs distinguish between grapes grown in Mexico vs. the US, or is commodity enough detail?

This debate was put to rest – and the specific camp won out. But how specific should the GTIN be? This matters because it affects how a case gets labeled. The best rule of thumb we’ve found is that if a case is priced differently, or is treated as a different SKU by the retailer . . . then it’s a different GTIN.

It pays to start with a very detailed GTIN list, because it’s easier to make a very detailed list generic, but very hard to make your list more detailed once you’ve started.

The HarvestMark team is GS1 certified, and we’ve helped hundreds of our customers navigate their own GTIN lists. Contact us if you’d like to see how we can help you.

More Retailers Get on Board with PTI Compliance

Recently, Publix joined the ranks of other major retailers who expect their suppliers to comply with the PTI milestones. Some shippers are concerned that retailers haven’t implemented the changes to their warehouse management systems to receive PTI-labeled cases, which they see as a sign that they can wait to become compliant. However once these systems are turned on, the systems may not be configured to receive non-compliant case labels.

Would you like to know which retailers have requested PTI compliance from their suppliers? Have you received a request to get compliant before the deadline? Join the ranks of over 200 of our customers who have gotten compliant before the deadline. Call us (866-768-7878) if you need to meet a retailer’s PTI deadline.

5 Common Mistakes Shippers Make with PTI

Let’s face it. Implementing PTI can be complicated. There’s a lot of new information to digest, packing processes to change, and competing (and often wrong) advice to navigate. Based on our experience, here are some common errors that can be avoided:

1. Printing non-allowed characters in a lot code.
GS1 only allows a certain character set in a lot code . . . if you include a non-allowed code the the receiving system could choke.

2. Printing barcodes too small or low in quality.
It’s tempting to cut costs by using a low quality inkjet system or a tiny label for the GS1 barcode. However, for retailers to reliably scan them, the barcodes need to be grade 1.5 or better and at least 0.5” high and 10 mil line width.

The HarvestMark PTI software will make sure you’re compliant for an annual fee as low as $1500 a year. No per-box fees. No hidden “consulting” fees or software upgrade charges.

3. Insufficient quiet zone.
Barcodes need a quiet zone (i.e,. no printing) on either end. Print to the edge of the label, and you risk a scan fail.

4. Wrong GTIN strategy.
It’s easy to mix up case-level GTINs and item-level GTINs (databar or UPC). It’s not a one-to-one mapping. A single watermelon GTIN, for example, can be packed in multiple case GTINs.

5. Forgot the VoiceCode?
The VoiceCode (also called the voice pick code) is now part of the PTI standard and needs to be printed on the label. Forget that and cases won’t flow smoothly through a DC using voice picking.