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The newly formed Produce Traceability Initiative Leadership Council met Oct. 13 to begin implementing the industry-led governance structure for the initiative moving forward.

The group's inaugural meeting, held in Orlando, FL, prior to the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition, featured an orientation on the PTI’s new governance structure, including the council, a forthcoming Executive Committee and its working and interest groups.

Council members comprised of retailers, foodservice executives and growers shared their implementation plans and experiences, and provided input on the PTI’s development moving forward.

In the process, they validated PTI’s goal of whole-chain, electronic traceability and its milestones. Chairs and co-chairs of the PTI’s new working groups provided updates on their groups’ initial meetings.

"It was gratifying to see the industry reconfirm their ownership of this initiative; the entire group was extremely committed throughout the meeting," PTI Leadership Council Chairperson Cathy Green, president of Food Lion Family, said in a press release. “The group members were very candid and transparent in their feedback about PTI, and are eager to begin moving forward with the implementation of PTI throughout the industry. We look forward to continuing to make progress on this important initiative and working collaboratively to advance PTI in the future.”

In its first official action, the council approved a proposal from the new Implementation and Technical working groups to update the labeling requirements to include a four-digit voice-pick code. This change will help overcome a barrier to implementation of Milestone 7 (read and store information on outbound cases).

The council adopted the open-source Cyclic Redundancy Check 16 algorithm to calculate the voice-pick code, which will eliminate the need to scan outbound cases in those operations that utilize a voice-directed picking system.

The Implementation Working Group will conduct pilot tests and develop best practices to aid industry in implementing this PTI voice-pick code solution, the release stated.

The council will meet every other month, with the next meeting scheduled for Dec. 6.