Shippers, Packers, & Growers
No Special Labels or Hardware required – we understand that shippers use many different label applicators and/or ink jet printers in-house or out in the field. Keep labeling product the same way. Trace Produce simply gives you the added benefit of assigning on-line accessible information to the codes that you apply or print onto your packages. If your operation is in the process of determining how to label Lot Codes at the case-level, determine whatever makes the most sense for your operation based off of quality and cost. Trace Produce is not a label company, we simply provide the web-based platform to assign on-line information to Lot Codes that are put onto your produce packages.
Open Lot Code System – Our coding system is very open. All that is required is a Company Identification Number, and a Lot Code. You choose how long the Lot Code is, and whether it is numeric, alpha, or alpha numeric. Use whatever code system compliments your in-house tracing system. As industry coding standards are implemented, our system will allow you to adjust accordingly.
Reasons Trace Produce uses the integration of a 'Facility Number' and an 'Open Lot Code' system:
Work Required By A Shipper/Packer/Grower – Before new lots are harvested, a data table is created within the user's account at TraceProduce.com. Within this data table, new 'Lot Records' are created that represent each field/orchard, and the product that it contains. The shipper/packer/grower may include several 'Lot Records' within one Field/Orchard to represent several different varieties or commodities. It is the shipper/packer/growers choice to the degree of information associated with the 'Lot Record'. GPS coordinates, videos of the farmer, field, shipping or harvesting operation are allowed, or simply text information describing the field, grower, and harvesting or shipping procedures can be included. Once these 'Lot Records' have been created, the majority of the work is done. A grower and/or shipper will simply need to assign whichever codes are put onto packaged product to the correct 'Lot Record' within the website. If the shipper/packer/grower is using a date stamped code, this will need to be done daily. This is a very quick and easy procedure, and requires only minutes a day.
- Trace Produce wants to give users the option to use Lot Codes that compliment their existing in-house tracing systems. Shippers can label product in a way that works with their internal systems, and keeps themselves open to new coding standards that are coming down the line.
- Produce Steering Committee Recommendations – The produce traceability initiative has recommended use of a GS1-128 Barcode which consists of a 14-digit GTIN and a Lot Code. The GTIN will contain a 6-to 9-digit GS1 Company Prefix Number. The Lot Code portion is an open coding system (note: may be alpha-numeric). This chosen standard falls in line with a Facility number and an open lot code system.
- USDA PLI (Positive Lot Identification) Program: This program, administered by the USDA Federal-State Inspection Program and utilized by shippers/packers to identify inspected lots, can be used to link quality control and trace back at shipping point. PLI requires use of an approved numbering system, usually including a government issued Facility Identification Number, and a Lot Code to be applied at the Pallet level, and preferably at the case-level. This program includes a packer/shipper developed open Lot Code to uniquely identify individual lots as having been certified for quality. For more information, contact the USDA national office at 800-811-2373.
How does www.TraceProduce.com work with the GS1-128 Barcode GTIN assignment strategy? If a shipping operation has chosen to use the GS1-128 barcode GTIN assignment on packages, then their account will be created using their GS1 Company Issued Prefix. The GTIN will contain the Shippers GS1 Company Prefix, and the rest of the bar code will contain the Lot code. Trace Produce has a system that contains algorithms that will pull out the GS1 Company Prefix, and the Lot Code, to determine exactly where the produce came from.
How does www.TraceProduce.com work with GTIN assignment strategy for shippers that are packing in another supplier's brand? Because the shipper will be including the supplier's GTIN on the GS1-Barcode, the lot code portion will allow the shipper to include their GS1 Company Prefix, or another company identifier issued and accounted for by the supplier. Our software will then account for this to determine the correct shipper account and lot code assignment to determine exactly where the produce came from.