Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Blockchain for Produce: Building on the Foundation of Case Traceability

Traceability is not new to growers and thanks to the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), neither is the concept of making produce traceability visible across the entire supply chain. When the PTI was introduced in 2008 we used the term whole chain traceability; this meant the grower would apply a label with case traceability information on it and at each subsequent step in the supply chain the receiver would scan and record this information on inbound receipts and outbound shipments. Being a voluntary initiative, the major grower-shippers, distributors, and retails supported the initiative. The PTI Leadership council was formed and case labeling specifications were published. Many of the large grower-shippers have converted their internal traceability systems to the GS1 standards-based case traceability labeling of PTI to enable external traceability.

In the early days, several retailers sent letters to their produce suppliers requesting PTI labeling, but compliance was either voluntary or not enforced.  In June of 2013, Walmart stepped forward to notify produce suppliers that they had to have PTI case labels on product shipped to them by January 2014. 

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