Strict regulations, high material costs, and consumer pressures for safer food are just some of the factors impacting food producers today. The recent outbreak of listeria in cantaloupes and last July’s recall of baby spinach due to E. Coli contamination are just two examples that show how important accurate traceability is in modern food supply chains.
The food industry’s Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), launched in 2008, is a voluntary industry-led effort to enhance traceability throughout the entire produce supply chain. PTI is moving forward with meeting their milestones for 2011:
- Packers are responsible for providing human-readable information on each case
- Packers are responsible for encoding the GTIN and Batch/Lot Number
- Each subsequent handler of the case will have the systems and capability to read and store the GTIN and lot number from each case of produce received
By the end of 2011, all shippers are expected to have a GTIN code on their cases of produce, and those codes are expected to be able to be read as product leaves the shippers’ facilities. The GTIN is a global data structure that can be encoded into a bar codes, but it could also be used in other data carriers such as radio frequency identification (RFID).
Some shippers and receivers are finding obstacles in meeting PTI milestones, but these are easily overcome with the right bar coding and labeling technology. For example, printing the GTIN labels in the field on a portable printer gives you a greater amount of flexibility in your case labeling. You can print small batches of labels on demand to label the produce being harvested at the time. With a portable printer in the field, you have greater data accuracy, and less wasted labels.
Improve operations, gain insight into costs, and minimize the impact of food recalls with labeling and data collection solutions. Create durable labels on-demand at the point of activity, and streamline data collection and labeling tasks with durable equipment made to operate in difficult conditions.
Whether you print labels in the field or create bar codes in a manufacturing or distribution plant, we have the products that support traceability throughout the manufacturing and supply process. Want to find out more about track-and-trace applications for your business? You can read a related white paper “Tracing Food in the Supply Chain”. For more on PTI and their milestones, go here.
Do you need the right labeling products to aid your efforts at complying with PTI or other industry regulations? Call us at 1-800-325-5260 to discuss a solution that’s right for you.