Tracking products throughout the supply chain is important to ensure food safety and implementing bar code and RFID technology provides the extra layer of protection needed in the event that food contamination or a food borne illness occurs. The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) is already taking steps to develop a standardized approach to enhance the speed and efficiency of traceability systems. Their vision is to create a course of action to achieve supply chain-wide adoption of electronic traceability of every case of produce by the year 2012.
PTI is leveraging GS1 bar code labeling to identify specific growers and the 14-digit Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) based upon the GS1 standard is used to identify each case of produce. This traceability technology provides significant benefits to growers, distributors and retailers, such as:
- Full visibility into where a product came from to identify and isolate any problems
- Increased supply chain efficiency and improved operations
- Increased consumer trust
When companies receive or ship a case of produce and scan the bar code they will gain full visibility into the source, destination and all handlers of the goods. Similarly, RFID tags can provide deep traceability without a line of sight requirement.