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    Fresh Summit Highlight: Learning from PTI Pilots

    The recent tragic outbreak of listeria in cantaloupes underscores that what we’re doing in the Produce Traceabilty Initiative (PTI) continues to be relevant and timely for our industry. The importance of being able to trace back product is a generally accepted tenant in our industry, yet traceability without a common framework is of limited benefit. PTI presents just such a framework for helping the industry achieve supply chain wide traceability and enable faster and more surgical recalls. Increasingly, companies all along the supply chain are looking to PTI as a standard for their traceability requirements.

    This year’s Fresh Summit seminar on PTI will showcase what specific companies have learned from their PTI pilot programs. We are pleased to welcome two retailers, Wal-Mart and Publix, and two grower/shippers, Alpine Fresh Inc. and Ippolito Fruit and Produce Limited, who will share their real-world experience of implementing PTI in their business. The panel will impart tips about what worked well and key learnings about what didn’t. Attendees can take home the insight of these PTI pioneers and be better prepared to face the challenges and potential pitfalls in implementing a traceability program. 

    The final PTI milestones for grower shippers and the first milestones for receivers are only three months away and coming fast. So, I’ll be opening the session with an overview of the PTI and its requirements and timeline. After we hear from our panel, we’ll finish up the session with a panel discussion where attendees can ask any question of the four panelists or me. We expect it to be an incredibly interactive, constructive dialogue.

    For anyone shipping or handling produce, this seminar will provide invaluable examination of PTI implementation. Those just starting the traceability journey will find the reality shared in this seminar facilitates the process as they glean information from those who’ve already walked the PTI road.  Companies with their own in-house traceability system will benefit by understanding what modifications may be needed to make their current system PTI compliant.

    The future of the produce business demands PTI compliance – the consequences of not doing so is just too great. Very quickly PTI is evolving to be a marketplace requirement and an important step in ensuring our food safety for our consumers. For more information on registering for Fresh Summit, or any of the workshops, please log onto our website www.pma.com and look for the Fresh Summit link under Events and Conferences.

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