The Leadership Council, representing 32 companies in the produce industry, met recently in conjunction with the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit in Anaheim, California, and decided to:
• Create a new Buyer Working Group to expedite the completion of the remaining retail/foodservice implementation steps for PTI
• Keep the PTI governance structure intact with the Leadership Council meeting twice a year and working groups utilized as needed
• Maintain progress of supply-side PTI implementation
• Maintain industry education and communications via the PTI website and other channels as needed
Michael Agostini, Senior Director, Produce, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, accepted the position of Leadership Council co-chair as Cathy Green Burns resigned from this volunteer post due to increased work commitments as President of Food Lion.
“PTI is clearly better off today than it was four years ago when we started, and that is due in no small part to Cathy’s leadership,” said Agostini. “We should celebrate our success as we have collectively moved our industry to embrace and understand traceability with 229 members participating in our working groups developing best practice and guidance documents in support of our milestones.”
Agostini is responsible for the merchandising of key produce categories at Wal-Mart’s US Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets, which currently total more than 3,000 retail stores nationwide. He also leads Wal-Mart’s produce technology efforts, which seek to leverage technical solutions to create innovative processes for Wal-Mart’s produce supply chain. A veteran of over 39 years in the produce and grocery industry, Agostini has recently served on the PMA Board of Directors and as Chair of the PMA Supply Chain Efficiencies Committee.
TK: Is this "buyer-centered implementation" actually making a difference? There hasn't been much publicity about the progress of the buyer working group. What will FDA food safety rules mean to the PTI effort?
One of the frequently asked questions on the FDA's website relates to traceability.