Council backs PTI case label implementationAs its semi-annual meeting in Chicago, the Produce Traceability Initiative Leadership Council continued to push for industrywide adoption of standardized case-level traceability.

The council, which represents 32 companies in the fresh produce industry, met in conjunction with the United Fresh trade show June 10-13.

"In just seven months of PTI implementation at Wal-Mart, we have seen significant increases in PTI case labels on products and we are already seeing important benefits in supply chain efficiencies," Mike Agostini, senior category director for produce at Wal-Mart and council co-chairman, said in a news release.

The consensus of council members was that the industry should stay on course with implementations based on standardized product identification with batch and lot numbers encoded in GS1-128 bar codes on case labels.

Broad adoption of advance ship notice, an Electronic Data Interchange transaction, for exchanging traceability data plus outbound recording of the bar code data on cases of produce from distribution centers to retail and foodservice operations are critical to the full realization of PTI goals, according to the group.

Recently completed updates to the PTI website aim to better organize the tools and resources available to industry members. In Chicago, council members also agreed to share their implementation challenges and success stories via the initiative"s website.