Blog's from the Chair

I am honored to have been elected as the Chair of IFPS at our Board Meeting in Brussels on June 18, 2013. 

Ongoing focus to achieve the goal of IFPS, Global Harmonization of Fresh Produce Standards, was made very clear to me during our visit to the Belgium New Fruit Wharf in Antwerp. The IFPS Board toured Dole’s vessel unloading and storage operations. During the very thorough tour and presentations by Danny Lippens of Dole, Tom Quets of Capespan and Luc Buellens of Belfruco, we observed the challenges that had to be overcome to accommodate each customers unique case and pallet labeling requirements. This reinforced the need for a global standard for case and pallet labeling that would result in increased efficiencies for all trading partners, just one area where the combined efforts of industry from across the globe can eliminate inefficiencies and unnecessary financial burdens in the supply chain.  To that end, I am pleased that IFPS was able to facilitate the alignment of the work that was done in Europe and North America to ensure that standards being developed are global. In Europe, the German GS1 Obst & Gemuse gruppe developed the process for Product classification for fruits and vegetables ( GS1 GPC) and working with Frug I Com in Holland, created the Guideline for the allocation of article numbers for fresh fruits and vegetables. In North America, the Implementation Guide for Fresh Produce Data Standards and Synchronization was created as well as the Produce Traceability Initiative’s Best Practice for Preparing to Assign GTINs. All four efforts have been aligned and served as the basis for the GS1 Global Fruit & Vegetable Master Data Guide and the soon to be released GS1 Global Fruit & Vegetable GTIN Assignment Guide.  As the foundation for efficiencies in data synchronization and electronic commerce, these efforts should significantly improve the produce supply chain as we collectively move forward.

The US industry is continuing to move forward with the implementation of the Product Traceability Initiative; Implementing tracking & tracing on shipping case level utilizing GS1 standards.  In Europe, the efood chain project still progressing. 

In the area of Food Safety, the document created by SHAFFE, Principles and Bases for Food Safety Policies in the Fresh Produce Value Chain, will serve as the basis for a revised statement of food safety principles for IFPS.

In conclusion, as there continue to be many initiatives across the globe to create standards for the fruit and vegetable industry, the challenge for the global fruit and vegetable community is to continue the efforts that have been made to achieve our goal in implementing International Standards in Fresh Produce across the entire world. 

Ed Treacy

Chairman IFPS

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