Milestone 5 Case Level Barcodes (Moved to 2011)

Although the PTI case labeling requirement does not take effect until 2011, the committee has provided a sample label showing the minimum required contents. We have reproduced it here. Notice the human readable text on the label. This is a requirement of Milestone 4, also due by the end of 2011.


Labeling Requirements

According to the Produce Traceability Initiative Best Practices for Formatting Standard Case Labels document, (available from the PTI website) the only information that needs to be encoded in the GS1-128 barcode is:
  1. The Application Identifier for the GTIN (01) followed by the GTIN itself
  2. The Application Identifier for the Lot/Batch # (10), followed by the Lot or Batch # itself.
NOTE: If the Lot/Batch # is not unique by pack or harvest date, you must include the pack/harvest date as well. The Application Identifier for the Pack/Harvest date is (13).

The PTI Required GS1-128 barcode

The GS1-128 barcode occupies the center of the label. Here are its component parts:

Application Identifiers

Application identifiers tell the scanner what information to expect. The (01) indicates that a GTIN will follow. The (10) a GS1 lot/batch number.



The GTIN portion of the barcode contains the GTIN you have assigned for this specific product.


GS1 Lot

The Initiative proposes a lot numbering system. This is not the same as the lot identities you might be familiar with in Famous. See recommendation 8 below for the Initiative creators’ description of the PTI Lot identity schema. We can help you create an approach to this in Famous.


Recommended Best Practices

The PTI team has outlined the following additional best practice guidelines:
  1. Use the GS1-128 barcode described above.
  2. Include the GTIN and Lot/Batch information along with their identifiers.
  3. Show the human readable GTIN and Lot/Batch # directly below the GS1-128 barcode.
  4. As supplier name and address should already be shown on the case, it is not necessary to include this information on the label. However, this supplier information should be shown on the same facing of the case as the label.
  5. Country of Origin should be printed directly on the case or stickered on the same facing of the case as the label.
  6. The commodity and additional description (e.g., Variety, Variety Group, Color) must appear on the label above the GS1-128 barcode. Otherwise, this information must be printed or stickered on the same facing of the case as the label.
  7. The pack configuration (e.g. 10/4-lb bags) must appear on the label. Otherwise, this information must be printed or stickered on the same facing of the case as the label.
  8. If the Lot/Batch# is not unique by Pack/Harvest Date, the Pack or Harvest Date should be encoded in the barcode in addition to the GTIN and Lot/Batch #. Use Application Identifier (13) to indicate the Pack or Harvest Date. It should also be shown in human readable form below the barcode as well.
  9. When using returnable plastic containers (RPCs), conveying all the required information via a card that appears on the RPC is preferable to having separate stickers for individual pieces of information.
  10. The case label must appear on at least one side of the case.

What about DataBar?

Databar label (Not a PTI requirement)DataBar is a separate PMA initiative. It is not part of the PTI. In addition to Produce Traceability Initiative the PMA has a separate initiative that is working to replace the PLUs on produce with labels that contain tiny DataBar barcodes. DataBar barcodes are intended to replace PLUs and are scanned at checkout.

The PTI's GS1-128 barcodes are case labels and not intended to be use at point of sale.

Go back to Milestone 4Go forward to Milestone 6


We would be happy to help. Please give us a call at 800-444-8301 or send us an email.

Additional Resources

The PTI website is Here's a helpful PTI Resources page as well.
Cosponsors of the Initiative include PMA, CPMA, and United Fresh.