Boston, MA – October 18, 2008 – The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Board of Directors announced its endorsement of the recommendations of the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) and the plan to create a standardized system for electronic traceability for produce at its meeting in Boston today. The PTI Steering Committee is chaired by Cathy Green, chief operating officer, Food Lion, LLC.

Participants will adopt a standardized system of case bar-coding for all produce sold in the United States to allow product to be quickly and efficiently tracked throughout the distribution chain. This will maximize the effectiveness of the industry’s current traceability procedures, improve internal efficiencies and assist retailers, wholesalers and producers when they need to quickly trace back a product.

The program will build on current internal traceability systems by using the existing international standards from GS1, the not-for-profit standards organization. It will also provide the capacity to achieve external traceability by standardizing and incorporating the Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN) and a lot number, which will bring new connectivity between companies across the supply chain.

This information will be labeled on each case in human-readable form so that it can be read and understood by personnel throughout the supply chain. The machine-readable barcode will also appear, which each member of the supply chain will be able to scan and maintain in their computer systems.

PTI identified seven steps for supply chain electronic traceability by late 2012: