PLU Codes

PLU codes are used in retail locations to facilitate the checkout process. PLUs identify bulk and random or variable weight fruits and vegetables (and related items such as nuts and herbs). PLU numbers are printed on a small label that is attached directly to individual fruits and vegetables. They consist of a four or five digit number. Four digit PLUs identify conventionally grown fruits and vegetables while a 9 is added at the beginning of the PLU to identify the item as organic. (Ex. 4011 identifies a conventionally grown banana and 94011 identifies an organically grown banana.)  Although originally reserved to identify GMO produce, the leading “8” prefix will transition to accommodate an increase in traditionally and organically grown produce. More information is available at www.ifpsglobal.com/PLU.

PLU codes are assigned to fruits and vegetables following a rigorous review process conducted by the International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS). Like the industry standardized UPCs, a block of PLU numbers have been reserved for individual use by retailers.

Existing industry standardized PLU codes are available on the IFPS Website.

The comprehensive list of the IFPS PLUs in English and French PLU is available for download on the IFPS website. The French translation of the IFPS PLUs was developed by CPMA and the Quebec Produce Marketing Association (QPMA) to meet the needs of their respective memberships.

Retailer Assigned PLUs

In June 2006, Canadian retailers finalized a list of Canadian nationally coordinated retailer assigned PLUs for fruits and vegetables. The list was developed to facilitate efficient identification for fruits and vegetables sold loose/bulk/variable weight in Canadian stores where an internationally harmonized PLU does not currently exist. The Canadian Retailer Assigned PLU list is meant to augment the internationally coordinated IFPS list. Canadian Retailer Assigned PLUs are assigned for those fruits and vegetables which do not have enough volume to warrant the assignment of an IFPS PLU.

Complete Canadian Nationally Coordinated Retailer Assigned:  PLU list.

Please note: The Canadian Nationally Coordinated Retailer Assigned PLUs are for use ONLY in Canada. It is a voluntary system and you should therefore check with your Canadian Retail buyers before utilizing these numbers on your product.

IFPS launches Mobile App for Price Look-up Codes

The International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS) has launched a user-friendly app to help users across the supply chain source price look-up codes (PLUs).

The app comes at a time when demand for the voluntary codes, used for price identification at retail point-of-sale for fresh produce items sold individually, is increasing in North America, Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand and more recently, Mexico.

There are now more than 1,400 PLUs in use around the globe. The voluntary PLU system has been utilized by the fresh produce industry since 1990 for pricing, inventory control and sales data.

To aid fresh produce shippers, who are increasingly being asked to synchronize their data, the mobile app and the enhanced website search engine now also include a link with the GS1 Global Classification Code (GPC).

The GPC has been updated recently for fruits and vegetables; the app includes mapping between the PLUs and GPC for companies who use PLUs and the GS1 Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN).
 
The free app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. In the Apple store, search for “Fresh PLU”; in the Google Play Store, search for “FreshPLU”.

For more information about the use of PLU codes, please visit www.Ifpsglobal.com/PLU or email plu@ifpsglobal.com.

Contact CPMA at question@cpma.ca.