by Millie Adcox/staff writer
YottaMark has helped more than 200 produce grower/shippers achieve compliance with the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI). These companies have implemented YottaMark’s HarvestMark PTI solution in their operations to be in compliance with buyer and industry requirements, aligned with the Dec. 31 milestone.
“While some folks in the industry have felt there hasn’t been momentum around the PTI deadline, what we’ve seen is people have really embraced the responsibility to become compliant in advance of the Dec. 31 deadline,” Aimee Young, senior director of marketing for YottaMark, told The Shelby Report during the PMA Fresh Summit.
Jem-D, Astin Farms, Alpine Fresh, Flavor 1st and Delta Produce are the newest HarvestMark PTI customers.
Jem-D is deploying HarvestMark PTI for case and pallet traceability for its cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes packed in Atlanta, McAllen, Detroit, Kingsville and Montreal. Alpine Fresh deployed HarvestMark PTI on asparagus, with plans to implement across its operations. Flavor 1st, based in North Carolina, has selected HarvestMark PTI for its tomatoes. Delta Produce, based in San Antonio, Texas, will deploy HarvestMark PTI on tomatoes and avocados, according to YottaMark, a leader in traceability and authentication solutions based in Redwood City, Calif.
“We’ve tried to take the complexity out of getting PTI compliant. Many grower/shippers may have tried to develop systems in-house themselves, and what we’re finding is they can quickly get frustrated with trying to develop their own solution,” Young added. “So we’ve created this solution that is as easy as receiving an HP computer at home that is boxed and arrives at your door. You open it up and it has the illustrated instructions inside, and people are becoming compliant before we even provide a training call.”
Another big news item from YottaMark is that Edinburg, Texas-based Frontera Produce has selected HarvestMark for its Item Level Traceability. The first commodity Frontera rolled out using HarvestMark was its pineapple, which was featured at PMA’s show.
“Frontera really wants to help shoppers connect back to the farm to learn more about where their pineapples are grown, and really find out what makes them unique and also whether or not they’ve been subject to recall,” Young said. “So when someone traces a Frontera pineapple now, they’ll be able to scan it using our app or enter the unique code on HarvestMark.com and they’ll know instantly where and when it was grown, see a farm profile and find out instantly if the produce is subject to recall.”
Also, YottaMark featured a sneak preview of the HarvestMark’s Version 2.0 of its iPhone App during the PMA show. The new app is scheduled to be launched in early November. The company offers a free HarvestMark app for both iPhone and Android users.
The new App will let a consumer or retailer “scan a QR code or data matrix code on any one of our customers’ packages or type in the 16-digit code, and it will trace that individual package of food back to, say, when and where it was grown and whether or not it is subject to recall. And it will actually enable shoppers to give feedback on that very specific item of food so growers and shippers can trace it back to their supply chain, which helps them be proactive in handling quality issues before it really becomes a problem,” Young said.