Final PTI Milestone Hits Snag

The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) has just about reached its goal of whole-chain traceability for produce in 2012, but implementing the final milestone has stalled. The final milestone specifies that each subsequent handler of a case of produce will have the systems and capability to read and store the GTIN and lot number from each case of produce they receive.

Large retailers, such as Kroger and Wal-Mart are expected to meet the final milestone, but others have concerns about reading and storing bar-coded information on the outbound cases going to stores. Distributors fear losing efficiencies during picking of cases to fulfill orders, especially orders picked via voice selection rather than bar code scanning.

To overcome this hurdle, the PTI has included a “voice pick code” option in their labeling requirements. Instead of scanning barcodes on outbound cases, operations that use a voice picking system can generate a voice pick code using a calculator on the PTI website. The user simply enters their Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and Lot Code in the appropriate fields,  then clicks on the “Generate Code” button to get a 4-digit voice pick code that is copied onto the PTI-compliant label.

To help distributors and retailers with implementation in your company, PTI has sponsored several pilot projects and case studies that you can find here.

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