Produce Suppliers, You Need PTI Labels for Compliance…And We’re Making Them Stick!
From labels that help logistics and fulfillment for manufacturers and warehouse operations, to labels for bottles of craft beer actually made out of hops, we have had over 90 years to perfect our print supply chain capabilities for all types of labels. I’ve been talking about several kinds of labels recently. Last week, it was Instant Redeemable Coupon Labels and this week it’s all about making a very important label to all of us, the Produce Traceability Initiative or PTI label, stick to adhere throughout the supply chain.
All labels are vitally important, contributing to the success of thousands of businesses and the enjoyment of legions of beer drinkers. Still, there’s another kind of label, that in many ways, just might be the one of the most important to consumer safety, and to a produce suppliers’ longevity. Those are the labels that go on fresh produce, complying with provisions of the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) and those labels need to have the adhesive staying power to stick throughout the supply chain across various environments and substrates.
Keeping Healthy Produce On Track
Produce is different than other products. Manufactured items aren’t consumed. Even meat and other consumable products are normally cooked before they are eaten. Not so with produce.
Lettuce, fruits and vegetables grow in natural environments, where bacteria exists and grows. And those products are usually eaten “as is” – without cooking that can kill bacteria. That means that everyone in the produce supply chain, from grower to consumer, must be aware of the potential dangers involved and take steps to make sure the food chain is safe at every step.
PTI Labels Help Limit The Danger
In past years, incidents of people contracting food-borne illnesses from contaminated lettuce and other farm-grown produce were not terribly rare. That put the issue squarely in the spotlight, leading to the industry-created Produce Traceability Initiative. Federal mandates relating to this issue were also enacted.
The initiative calls for detailed and accurate labeling for produce. These labels contain complete information about where and when a product was harvested, processed, distributed, and sold. “From farm to fork” is how it is often described. This PTI Label allows for tainted produce to be removed from the marketplace, for consumers to be warned, and for the source of the problem to be identified so that it can be corrected.
One PTI Label Doesn’t Fit All
The PTI Label is a wonderful solution to the problem, but not an uncomplicated one. Think of all the different types of products and packaging these labels must be able to work with throughout the supply chain. Various types of produce, fruits and vegetables can be stored and shipped in cartons (waxed and unwaxed), wooden crates, plastic containers, corrugated boxes, and several other types of containers.
They must also “weather” a number of different environments along the way, from yes – the weather itself as shipments move across the country – plus storage conditions that can require cooling by several different methods – icing, hydro or forced air cooling, and others.
If The PTI Label Fails, The Safety System Fails
Superior Business Solutions and its skilled label-printing partners know how to accommodate this incredible variety of situations. Some labels are versatile enough to handle changing conditions. Other labels are specifically designed to thrive under specific, more extreme temperature, transportation and handling situations. Our partners know when to use direct thermal or thermal transfer printing processes, or when other technologies are called for.
Still, a perfect label does no good if it doesn’t remain on the product. Our partners have also developed adhesives specially formulated to maintain strong adhesion in hot, cold and damp conditions, and on a variety of substrate materials.
With so much at stake, it’s important not only to follow the “letter” of the Produce Traceability Initiative, but to make sure you are truly providing reliable farm-to-supermarket accountability. Families across the country – and the industry’s reputation – are depending upon it.
Make Your Produce Supply Chain First-Rate
If you are involved in growing, packing, distributing or retailing produce (or any other product for which this kind of tracking is appropriate), I invite you to give me a call. It’s clearly one of those areas where there is no such thing as “good enough.’ If there’s a way to do it better, you should – and I can help you think that through. Our sales representatives also understand the importance of the issue and the solutions our partners can provide to benefit you and your customers. Feel free to give one of them a call. Either way, I hope we hear from you soon; we’re here to help you grow.