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.
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The one thing that one can learn of the Fresh Produce industry is that it’s a dynamic world. Just had our Spring Board meeting in Chile where we also visited some Chilean Fresh Produce companies. A lot of innovations are here already implemented. Modern facilities ready to serve the market with safe and tracked & traced fresh fruits.
Looking around the world a lot is happening. The US industry is moving forward with the Product Traceability Initiative. Implementing tracking & tracing on container/box-level fully compliant to the GS1-standards from field to fork.
To satisfy the needs of international customers, the PLU codes list has been translated into French, Spanish and Portuguese.