Produce Coding and Identification in Canada

Currently in Canada, consumer item identification is primarily generic in nature utilizing the industry coordinated UPCs and PLUs.  (More information is available in the left hand bar.)  The industry is, however, slowly transitioning to the global standards for identification using GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers).  At the case and pallet level, identification is also transitioning to these standards. The resources below and elsewhere in this section will assist in an understanding of produce identification at all levels, but industry should also ensure they understand the requirements of each trading partner to ensure a smooth flow of products.

Produce Coding Training and Resources (see traceability page for layout)

To assist industry in an understanding of the basics of produce identification, the following resources are available:

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 or email

Contact CPMA for more information.