(March 6) Trying to stay ahead of government regulators, the Traceability Task Force, consisting of leaders from the Produce Marketing Association and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, are developing a final draft of a best practices document, said Jane Proctor, director of industry technology and standardization for the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, Ottawa.

The task force met Feb. 8 in conjunction with the annual CPMA convention and trade show in Montréal. She said the task force reviewed global traceability initiatives, legislative activity, and lot number and traceability definitions. It also focused on continued development of a best practices document for the North American industry.

Proctor said working up the final draft of the best practices document will be the near-term focus.

The CPMA/PMA Traceability Task Force will next meet in June, in conjunction with the Retail Produce Solutions Conference in Monterey, Calif., which PMA co-sponsors.

“… By that point we will hopefully be ready to finalize the draft and start talking about putting in place details for the pilot program,” she said.

PALLET LEVEL

Proctor said the draft document will likely focus on pallet level traceability, which may be refined later with case level traceability.

“We’re looking at where the industry is and where the industry can get to and doing so in a way that it won’t become completely burdensome,” she said.

Proctor said the traceability pilot program should be under way by mid-2004, and likely will include large and small suppliers and foodservice and retail participants.

The task force is led by co-chairmen Doug Grant, director of information technology for The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Steve Junqueiro, director of produce and floral for Save Mart Supermarkets, Modesto, Calif. It consists of grower-shippers, retailers, foodservice operators, wholesalers, distributors and grower associations.

TASK FORCE MEMBERS

  • Robert Allard, Association des Emballeurs de Pomme du Quebec (Quebec Apple Packers Association), Monterejie L’Amjie-Gardien, Quebec

  • Anne Fowlie, Canadian Horticultural Council, Ottawa

  • Dan Funk, Dole Food Co. Inc., Westlake Village, Calif.

  • Mark Givens, Kings Canyon Corrin LLC., Reedley, Calif.

  • Larry Kieswetter, Loblaw Cos., Toronto

  • Mike Martin, Rio Queen Citrus, Mission, Texas

  • Mike McGee, L&M Cos., Raleigh, N.C.

  • Matt McInerney, Western Growers Association, Irvine, Calif.

  • Larry McIntosh, Peak of The Market, Winnipeg, Manitoba

  • Wayne McKnight, Sobey’s Canada Inc., Stellarton, Nova Scotia

  • Dave Murphy, Yum! Brands, Louisville, Ky.

  • Mike Stuart, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, Orlando

  • Dariel Trottier, Sysco Food Services (Canada), Kelowna, British Columbia

  • Tom Wason, Sysco Food Services (U.S.), Salinas, Calif.

  • An observer representative from Mexico.