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U.S., Canada Launch New Produce Traceback Template

The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) has launched the Produce Traceback Template and improved the Harmonized Case Label, the PTI Best Practices for Formatting Case Labels and the ASN 856 document, the group says in a news release on June 25. The PTI consists of CPMA, GS1 US, PMA, and United Fresh, and it’s many volunteer industry members.

“As the Canadian industry strives for compliance with the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) and the U.S. industry prepares for the September release of draft Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) traceability- related regulations, traceability is increasingly a focus across the supply chain and with consumers,” Doug Grant of The Oppenheimer Group and PTI chair says, in the news release. “These new and updated resources support a renewed commitment to traceability efforts and bring clarity and harmonization to the tools that support traceability.”

The new Produce Traceback Template initiated as part of the Romaine Task Force and finalized by PTI working groups is designed to transmit traceability data to regulators when a company is involved in a trace-back investigation, the release notes. The template was developed with guidance from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for produce companies to better manage responses to inquiries about potentially harmful products in the supply chain, regardless of whether or not they are PTI compliant. The tool is designed to be used by companies of varying sizes who are at any point in their traceability journey. The template was also integrated into the PTI Guidance for Sharing Traceback Data.

The Harmonized Case Label reflects an industry-wide collaboration amongst stakeholders to align on a label which would be accepted by buyers in the grocery and foodservice communities in both Canada and U.S. buyers from both countries worked through the winter to design and align on one label which meets both buyer and regulatory requirements and remains founded on global GS1 standards, the release says.

To ensure clarity on the use of the label, the PTI Best Practices for Formatting Case Labels was updated and includes information to enable integration into operations regardless of the commodity being packed, the release notes.

The ASN 856 document was also updated to reflect the updated EDI standard version 007050 UCS, the release says. This technical change supports the use of this electronic means for sharing both commercial and traceability information amongst trading partners.

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