Significant improvements announced to traceability guidance

The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), consisting of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), GS1 US, Produce Marketing Association (PM), and United Fresh, and its many volunteer industry members, announce the release of four new or improved tools to support traceability implementation:


- Canada/U.S. Harmonized Case Label

- Template for Sharing Traceback Data with regulators 

- Revised Best Practices for Formatting Case Labels

- Updated ASN (Advance Ship Notice)


“As the Canadian industry strives for compliance with the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) and the U.S. industry prepares for the September 2020 release of draft Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) traceability- related regulations, traceability is increasingly a focus across the supply chain and with consumers,” said PTI chair, Doug Grant of The Oppenheimer Group. 


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


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.


In addition, 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 template was developed with guidance from the U.S. 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. Initial testing by a small group of buyers yielded favourable responses.


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


PTI’s four founding organizations continue to collaborate on industry challenges and solutions for produce traceability, and encourage industry to access the new and updated resources at


Source:  Canadian Produce Marketing Association June 25, 2020 news release




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Publish date: 
Thursday, June 25, 2020

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