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?

Become a Traceability Insider

Learn what's happening in the world of traceability and beyond in our monthly Traceability Insider. Subscribe today to get the latest news on HarvestMark as well as commentary, insight and information on the latest issues and trends impacting the industry.

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


Here's what the May 25th announcement said:

  • The PTI committee reaffirmed that the approach on the table (GS1/GTINs, etc.) remains the right way to go, and that whole-chain traceability by 2012 is still the goal.
  • The only material change is the moving of milestones 4 & 5 (putting labels on cases) to coincide with milestone 6 (retailers recording cases inbound) that is at the end of 2011.
  • The PTI committee softened their language about these milestones being "must comply", and instead called them "target goals". The committee also wants to shift the onus of driving compliance away from trade associations (who have neither carrots nor sticks) and towards retailers and foodservice operators (who have both).
  • Finally, the committee is proposing pilots to resolve "issues such as the best ways to label cases in field packing, exchange GTIN data between seller and buyer or a common data pool, and capture outbound data from a retail distribution center to individual stores taking advantage of current voice-pick systems in warehouses."


Here's what the announcement means:

  • The PTI is still happening – The PTI remains the best way to enable whole-chain traceability, and the overall timeline is unchanged. What was effectively an intermediary progress checkpoint ("are shippers able to put labels on cases?") has been eliminated. What hasn't changed is that shippers have 18 months to be "all systems go" – ready for handlers to receive properly labeled cases and pallets with hybrid pallet tags.
  • There's time to fully implement PTI – The announcement gives packers with complex high volume mixed product lines and field-packers (and laggards) more time to solve some very real operational challenges, and retailers more time to get comfortable with the ROI of the program. The fact is, 18 months is actually not very long. In our experience, although we can deploy a PTI solution in days – a complete program from start to finish even for a typical seasonal shipper can take months. Thinking this announcement provides a reason to defer PTI projects until sometime late 2011 would be a mistake.
  • Secure your position as a leader – For those leading-edge shippers who have already implemented PTI (we know of at least 50) – they can be confident that not only are they on the right path, but they now have an even bigger head start over their competitors. The delay gives them the opportunity to exploit the data that derives from PTI, integrate smoothly into their customers' systems, promote their product as traceable, signal their leadership and commitment to a safe and efficient supply chain, and potentially capture preference from those retailers who have stated a commitment to PTI. Indeed, the presence of a PTI label on their case is now a clear signal that they are in the ‘leader' not the ‘laggard' category.
  • Innovations from companies like HarvestMark are making deployment a lot easier - The announcement refers to "solutions not originally anticipated by the PTI Steering Committee [which] may offer cost-effective and efficient options in achieving PTI goals". This could include our VoiceCode solution (discussed here), acceptance of inkjet printed barcodes, and a relaxation of the date-specific lot. All would be good for the industry – and HarvestMark is ready to support you.


Interestingly, almost every grower/shipper we've spoken to since the announcement came out has said that it didn't affect their commitment to PTI or their implementation plans.

More growers and shippers have chosen to partner with the HarvestMark team for their traceability needs than any other vendor. If you want to get on the path to compliance and reap the benefits of traceability, please give us a call. We'd be happy to develop a PTI implementation timeline tailored to your specific needs.