An online publication focused on the produce industry has published the final installment of a recent series of articles about produce traceability contributed by a produce standards consultant. Titled “What is the ROI on PTI?,” the article by Gary Fleming discusses the benefits of implementing the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), a voluntary industry-developed standard, even though it is not required by law. As Perishable Pundit’s Jim Prevor notes, if the law does not require PTI and buyers do not require a PTI-compliant supply chain, “then we are left with attempting to justify PTI on a return-on-investment basis.”

According to Fleming, PTI was intended to use existing technology and standards “to enable whole chain traceability with the minimal amount of costs.” Among other matters, PTI standardizes the information used to trace produce and how that information is captured, provides quicker access to information in the event of a recall and allows companies to use their own tracking systems augmented with PTI-specific data that enable instant identification of who shipped the product; when, where and how much was shipped; where it was stored; and the purchase order/invoice on which it was received and shipped. Fleming also contends that other benefits to the produce industry, including increases in efficiency, make PTI’s implementation desirable. See Perishable Pundit, May 25, 2010.