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:
||Assign GTINs to products
||Encode GTINs into barcodes on products
||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.