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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July 2010: Produce Traceability in Foodservice


Discussions about the PTI have been unfairly hogging all the limelight. Foodservice is a huge buyer of fresh produce, too. Not only that, foodservice buyers are vocal about their desire for traceability. According to a 2009 report from the PMA, “76% of [foodservice] operators said they are willing to pay more for fresh produce if it is traceable all the way up the supply chain.” On the other hand, some restaurant purchasing execs also said they wouldn't buy non-traceable produce “even if it was half-price.” Strong words indeed, and a clear signal of the importance of traceability.

GS1 is leading a parallel initiative to PTI in the foodservice sector. The two efforts are basically the same: GTINs and lot numbers on labels on every case. Unlike the PTI that suggests using email to synchronize GTINs, the Foodservice initiative is built around the GDSN. GS1 has published a rather busy roadmap to lay out the steps to whole chain traceability. Here’s some of the key dates and activities:

Timeline Activity
Q3 2010 
Assign GTINs to products
Q2 2011 Encode GTINs into barcodes on products
Q2 2011 Suppliers begin to communicate Phase 1 GTIN attributes* and Global
Location Numbers (GLNs) to Distributors via the Global Data
Synchronization Network (GDSN


* Here's the Foodservice list, which is more comprehensive than the PTI’s

The roadmap then says “Operator should scan GTINs and Lot Numbers as it receives products from trading partners” (which translates into Milestone 6 in the PTI) - the timing of which will be “in alignment with Produce Traceability Initiative” (i.e. by Q4 2011).

We expect that GS1 will take a more hands-on role in directing the PTI – so these initiatives will become more closely aligned. If you’re a supplier and want help in unscrambling the acronyms and decoding the roadmap – get in touch. We can help.


European Grapevine Moth – Canadian Import Requirements Include Traceability

Following the announcement of Canada’s new import requirements regarding European Grapevine Moth (EGVM) regulated areas, the California Grape and Tree Fruit League has informed its affected members that the Canadian market is open provided the shipper meets certain conditions, including product be packed in containers that are labeled in a manner to facilitate trace back.


Replacing Generic UPCs with GTINs? Beware!

As grower/shippers comply with the PTI milestones, they find themselves the proud owners of a shiny new GS1 Company Prefix. It would be a simple matter to replace the PMA generic 33383 on item labels with their new ones. The potential to get specific sell-through data beckons.

But beware. Retailers are not necessarily ready to start scanning labels with company-specific barcodes (even if you have sent your GTIN lists). So, to avoid scanner fails or load rejections – we recommend you check with your buyer before using your GS1 company prefix on the UPC or databar.


Welcome New HarvestMark Customers

We wanted to take a moment to welcome our newest customers, who have adopted the HarvestMark PTI solution: Fazio Marketing, Fresh Farms, John Loos Farms, Inc., King Fresh, Rich-Pak, Sageland Farms, Sunnyside Packing Company, The Sykes Company and Ridge- Sweet Melon Growers, Inc. Not only will they be signaling to their customers that they are PTI-compliant well in advance of deadline, but the HarvestMark code on each case also gives their buyers secure instant access to more information and enables specific quality feedback.