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.)
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.
Guidance from Canadian Retailers on PLU/DataBar Labels
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.
Canadian Nationally Coordinated Retailer Assigned PLU number application.
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.