Produce Traceability Success

How three produce suppliers improved PTI and profitability with marking

From farm to table, the industry led Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) is one of the most significant and impactful initiatives in the world of food. Its aim is to enhance the speed and efficiency of supply chain traceability for the six billion cases of produce marketed in the United States alone each year.

Because codes that identify where produce came from and its journey through the supply chain are essential to the success of PTI, high readability, durability and quality of every mark is absolutely essential.

Far-more-detailed 2D barcodes are fast becoming the industry standard for traceability, but legacy systems and barcode scanners in use by many producers today are ill-equipped to work with modern 2D marks, making it difficult to implement reliable and effective PTI traceability programs.

If you’re in the business of growing, packing or shipping produce, making the most of PTI -– today and in the future -– relies on your deployment of advanced, tech-enabled marking and coding solutions. This means both high-quality printing equipment and inks combined with automated print controllers that are easy to use and integrate seamlessly with existing printers, barcode readers, and vision systems. Ideally, your printing system should also integrate with ERP systems to more efficiently comply with PTI and to help manage any potential recalls.

Here’s how Matthews Marking Systems helped three savvy produce suppliers reap the benefits of PTI – while also streamlining operations and driving greater supply chain efficiencies that will help them thrive for many years to come.

Pete’s Living Greens
Produce: Greens

Traceability was a key issue for Pete’s Living Greens, as their older printing equipment was causing barcode readability problems. This also put them at risk for quality holds or rejection of their hydroponic lettuce by large retailers like Walmart and Kroger. And because their outdated marking system was unable to integrate with their data system, effective traceability was a huge challenge in the event of a recall or other issue.

Petes living greens produce box

Matthews Marking Systems worked with Pete’s production team to provide a new printing solution that included L-Series Thermal Inkjet Printers (TIJ) controlled from the easy-to-use MPERIA®  platform and controller. This vastly improved the readability of their barcodes, helping them remain in compliance with retailer requirements while driving more effective PTI today and into the future.

 “We were not entirely satisfied with our existing products. They were older. And we knew that with all the changes coming in the world of product traceability, we needed something that could accommodate those changes for the future.”

– Paul Zemjanis, IT & Data Specialist, Pete’s Living Greens

Ventura Pacific Company
Produce: Lemons

For PTI to be effective, carton marking needs to be reliable, but Ventura’s old labeling system was a lemon (pun intended). Labels were often misplaced and were falling off cartons, making rejection from retailers likely and traceability difficult, if not impossible (while costing the company time, money and resources).

bunch of lemons

The company achieved an 80% cost reduction by making the switch from labels to direct carton marking with T-Series Piezo Inkjet Printers (PIJ) that produce crisp barcodes and graphics on porous substrates for high-visibility product info that stands up to PTI requirements throughout the supply chain. The MPERIA® Platform with its robust and easy to use interface and controller, enables them to integrate with their legacy labeling equipment and sets them up for future upgrades.

Calavo Growers, Inc
Produce: Avocados

Calavo’s legacy labeling solution aimed to meet PTI standards, but it was costing the company in terms of excessive material expenses, downtime, waste and aggravation due to repeated mislabeling issues and lack of data integration.

Calavo benefits infographic

They replaced their legacy system with the highly efficient, cartridge-based MPERIA L-Series TIJ printers and the fully automated and secure MPERIA platform controller. The new system fulfilled the requirements of the company’s PTI efforts while centralizing and streamlining the marking process and decreasing costs by 80% by shifting to direct marking on boxes vs. using labels.

If you’re in the produce industry — or any industry where track and trace is a requirement — our team at Matthews Marking Systems would love to help you to achieve results similar to these produce companies. Just fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch promptly to set up a free consultation with our marking and coding experts.


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