Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sticky But Useful Produce Labels

From the Chiropractic and Naturopathic Care Center of Bellingham, WA

As much as we may dislike them, the stickers or labels attached to fruit speed up the scanning process at checkout. The PLU code -- the price look-up number printed on the sticker -- and the market's computerized cash register identifies the fruit by its PLU. The numbers also enable retailers to track how well individual varieties are selling. Here is what you need to know:

---For conventionally grown fruit, the PLU code on the sticker consists of four numbers.

---Organically grown fruit has five-numeral PLU prefaced by the number 9.

---"Genetically engineered" fruit has a five-numeral PLU prefaced by the number 8.

---A conventionally grown banana would be 4011
---An organic banana would be 94011
---A genetically engineered banana would be 84011.

The numeric system was developed by the Produce Electronic Identification Board, and affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association, a Newark, Del.-based trade group for the produce industry. As of October 2001, the board assigned over 1,200 PLUs for individual produce items.


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