Envio’s Existing Box Label Format Meets Walmart’s GTIN Label Expectations
June 6th , 2013
Packers and Shippers country-wide breathed a sigh of relief after a phone conference with Walmart’s Michael Agostini, Senior Director of Produce and members of the PTI Technology council last week. Only one week earlier, a document outlining Walmart’s labeling expectations caused worry throughout the packer/shipper community. Sensing the stir, Walmart and the PTI Technology board decided to quell the rumors with an informative information session. Up until the meeting, industry leaders worried that the rigid label specifics on font, label size, position, and information--as outlined by Walmart--would be impossible to meet in the six month time-frame without extensive production changes and added cost. Luckily, the phone conference cleared up any speculation. Some important clarifications:
- All produce should be PTI compliant by November, 1 2013 and anyone with concerns or who need more time can work directly with Walmart to make an exception for an extension.
- All of the items shown on the Walmart sample label must be there but they are “flexible on the label exactitude.”
- Required elements are: GTIN, Lot/Batch#, Product Name, Voice Pick code and Pack or Sell-by Date (also includes Best If Used By date).
- Labeling will be accepted as long requirements are shown either on the box, label, or on a combination of both. The ultimate goal is to make the label PTI compliant and as readable to a human pulling product as possible. A few specifications of the label were directly requested by Walmart and Sam’s Club:
- The product name and variety should be at a minimum in 24 pt type in an easy-to-read font: Arial was requested although not required.
- Capital letters are not specifically required, however capital letters are easier to read from a distance and are encouraged.
- The bar code should be GS1 compliant. The bar code will not be scanned by the stock person before it is put out in the stores for consumers.
All fresh commodity and value-add products will be required to carry either a sell-by, best if used by, or pack date. These must also be added to items such as packaged salads, broccoli florets, cut fruit, salad dressing, croutons, etc. – “anything that can be recalled.” A participant asked if the sell by date could be hand stamped rather than on the label; this was allowed as long as it is grouped together and visible with the other required information.
For those who deal with Walmart Canada or Walmart de Mexico, these label requirements are not yet required outside of the United States. Agostini made no solid commitment on whether Walmart would choose to begin these requirements outside the U.S.
Envio’s labelling meets Walmart’s expectations and with little to no modification of any of your existing label designs. Once initial set up is complete, Envio automatically generates GTIN numbers for any future product. Label designs can be modified quickly and easily.
Packers and shippers can expect more information about the Walmart PTI compliance labeling to be released in the coming weeks, including more detailed information from the phone conference. To read the press release that preceded the phone conversation, or to stay-tuned for updates on the subject, check http://www.producetraceability.org/
To review the original Walmart document go to: http://www.producetraceability.org/documents/Wal-Mart_ Case_Label_Standard_-_Supplier_Letter_WM_-_Sams_(5_28_2013).pdf
About The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI)
The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) outlines 7 milestones to implementing case-level electronic traceability in the produce industry. On their website you will find the tools and resources you need to implement PTI requirements within your company. If you’re just getting started with PTI implementation, take a look at the milestone-specific resources at http://www.producetraceability.org
About GS1 US
GS1 US, a member of GS1, is an information standards organization that brings industry communities together to solve supply-chain problems through the adoption and implementation of GS1 standards. More than 200,000 businesses in 25 industries rely on GS1 US for trading-partner collaboration and for maximizing the cost effectiveness, speed, visibility, security and sustainability of their business processes. They achieve these benefits through solutions based on GS1 global unique numbering and identification systems, bar codes, Electronic Product Code-based RFID, data synchronization, and electronic information exchange. GS1 US also manages the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC). http://www.GS1US.org