Wal-Mart tells suppliers to get off the shed

06/07/2013 10:49:00 AM
Tom Karst

Tom Karst, National EditorTom Karst, National Editor"Hey Brandon, Michael, you need guys to do me a favor and get off the shed. I need you to be a buddy and get off the shed. Thanks.”

You might recall a hilarious “Saturday Night Live” skit depicting the awkwardness of being with adults who lose it when they discipline their kids.

The request to “get off the shed” from Dad (Will Ferrell) is first spoken to his kids in a pleasant tone as the suburban family hosts a barbecue with friends of the family.

The scene quickly escalates with Dad inserting increasingly angry exclamations to his boys to “get off the shed” in the flow of fake pleasant golf and landscaping talk with the guest couple.

“Hey guys, I mean it, let’s get off the shed.”

“Get off the (expletive) shed!”

“Hey, there is going to be a meeting between your (expletive) and the palm of my hand if you don’t get off the shed! Now get off the shed!”

“I will punch you in the face if you don’t get off the shed! Now get off the shed! Get off the (expletive) shed!”

While there is no physical beating yet threatened, Wal-Mart just told its produce suppliers that haven’t implemented the Produce Traceability Initiative to “get off the shed” and implement PTI.

The May 29 letter was long-awaited by industry advocates of PTI, who have said this authoritative command from “Dad” was what the outliers to PTI needed to get the message.

The letter tells fresh suppliers that effective Nov. 1 all fresh produce delivered to a Wal-Mart distribution center will be required to have standardized case labels, consistent with the PTI standards.

As I look back at The Packer library files, I reviewed the history and the timeline of PTI. You will remember PTI was launched in October 2007 by the Newark, Del-based Produce Marketing Association, the Ottawa-based Canadian Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C.

The steering committee of PTI met to set a timeline for adoption, with the milestone for supplier compliance for putting PTI labels on cases by September 2010, with all subsequent milestones to be done by the end of 2012.

At the time, the message was relaxed: “Be a good industry citizen and adopt PTI. Thanks.”


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