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Join forces internationally to improve the Fruit and Vegetables supply chain by data standardization

Join forces internationally to improve the Fruit and Vegetables supply chain by data standardization

April 12, 2021 - IFPS, the International Federation for Produce Standards, representing produce associations from around the globe, wants to improve the supply chain efficiency of the fresh produce industry through developing, implementing and managing harmonised international data standards. "Sustainability and food safety are focus areas of our organization in standardizing the increasing data driven demands," said Rebecca Lee, IFPS Chair. 

To mark the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, IFPS is exploring how to ensure that fruits and vegetables are well represented throughout the discussions leading up to and during the UN Global Food Systems Summit, to be held in September or October. "We seek collaboration with like-minded organizations to amplify the effect of any initiatives the IFPS member organizations and our respective members undertake as part of efforts around the International Year,” Rebecca Lee noted. 
Current PLU Applications Under Review

Current PLU Applications Under Review

The following PLU applications are currently under review for the November 1, 2021 - January 31, 2022 period:

  • PremA129 Apple
  • Jupiter Grape
  • Sugra Family Black Seedless Grape
  • Sugra Family Green Seedless Grape
  • Sugra Family Novelty Seedless Grape
  • Sugra Family Red Seedless Grape 
    Please contact plu@ifpsglobal.com if you have any questions.
    New & Recently Added PLU Codes

    New & Recently Added PLU Codes

    Here you can find the new and recently added PLU codes.

    PLU Sticker Ban Impact Letter

    Across the globe, governments at all levels are examining the issue of plastics and the impact on the environment, which has led to various initiatives and, in some cases, legislation that seeks to find measures to mitigate this impact. Unfortunately, some countries have included the IFPS PLU stickers in bans without fully understanding the implications of doing so and the importance of this product identification scheme to the fresh produce sector. An impact letter was developed to help authorities understand these impacts and is available for use by industry around the globe. (PDF also available for download from the Sustainability tab.)

    IFPS Launches Mobile Web App for PLU Codes

    May 2021 - With over 1,500 price look-up codes (PLUs) now in use around the globe, the International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS) has launched a user-friendly web app to help users from across the supply chain to source PLUs. The launch of the web app comes at a time when the demand for the voluntary codes, used for price identification at retail point of sale for fresh produce items that are sold individually, is increasing in North America, Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and more recently, Brazil.



    Getting Blockchain Ready : Three Conceptual Overhaul Suggestions

    By Dr. Hans Maurer, New Zealand IFPS Director and chair of the Chain Information Management Committee

    In my earlier comment piece entitled "Blockchain: myth or salvation?", I touched upon the need for a conceptual overhaul in the way our industry works to give Blockchain technology a chance to succeed. 

    Three suggestions for such an overhaul are the need to accept GS1 standards as an integral part of product and grower identification; to settle upon an appropriate and consistent procurement strategy and then stick to it; and, to adopt the 7th Principle of Supply Chain Management (Anderson et al, 1997).


    News archive

    On Thursday June 23rd, the Board of the IFPS met at the McCormick Convention Center in Chicago for their Spring Meeting in conjunction with United Fresh Produce Association’s Convention, United Fresh. The Board welcomed new Board member Gry Sørensen from The Norwegian Association of Fruit and Vegetable Wholesalers. In addition Kelly Kirschner, VP of Global Marketing at Sinclair Systems International, LLC participated as a representative of this new associated member. Also new to the group was Elena Tomanovich, Senior Director Industry Engagement as the new liaison for Fresh at GS1 Global.

    Product identification

    The use of PLU is still growing including the recent widespread retail implementation in Mexico and implementation by some retailers in France. The PLU database is now available in English, French and Spanish and the IFPS Product Identification Committee has turned its attention to improving the images and sizing information available in the database. The database can be extracted in these three languages for use in automated systems by using this link PLU search. In addition, the database includes full alignment between the PLU and the GS1 Global Classification Code (GPC).
    Coming soon: The PLU database will soon be available via an IFPS App which is in testing now. 

    Food Safety
    As the representative of the produce industry, IFPS participated in recent GFSI and ISO meetings. Relative to GFSI, the Board recently sent a letter to GFSI encouraging them to address delays with changes to the GFSI auditor competence scheme which directly impacts the produce sectors and other sectors using GFSI benchmarked schemes for food safety. The IFPS has offered their assistance in this effort. Additionally, the IFPS Food Safety Committee representatives are observing the review of the Codex General Principles of Food Hygiene but anticipate little change to the existing principles.

    Australian Food Safety Harmonization: HARPS
    The Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme (HARPS) was launched on May 17. Retailers are accepting GFSI-equivalent standards as a base, plus a bolt-on standard that harmonises Australian retailers’ additional elements. Ten trial audits will be done in June/July and it is expected to go live October 1st. All five Australian retail chains will accept HARPS in their operations.

    Supply Chain Information Management
    The increasing emergence of “disruptive technology” and the huge intelligence big data can bring to the industry underwrites the importance of IFPS work on international harmonisation. The IFPS supports the initiatives of SMART Horticulture Asia <link> and the 3rd EU FRESH INFO Forum & Roundtables in Rotterdam <link> later this year to continue international discussion, networking and information exchange in this area.

    Thank you, and see you soon….
    The Board wrapped up the spring meeting with thanks to two departing Board members, Michael Worthington (PMA New Zealand – Australia) and Anne Fowlie (Canadian Horticulture Council). The Board wishes both well in the next phase of their careers.

    Next meeting
    The next Board meeting is scheduled after the 3rd EU Forum in Rotterdam on December 1, 2016. If your association wants to work together with the IFPS on standardisation of information management in supply chain, food safety and product identification, please join us there. For more information, please contact the IFPS Chair, Ed Treacy at ETreacy@pma.com.

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