Thursday, April 3, 2008

Fruit Price Codes

Sydney Morning Herald
2 April 2008

Column 8

[...] "I understand that the four-digit code on the sticky labels attached to fruit is informative if you know what each digit means," writes Perry Gretton, of Tumbi Umbi. "For example, you can find out where it's grown, how it was grown (e.g. organic), and so on. Would a Column 8 reader know where we could find the key to this code?" Someone will.

Sydney Morning Herald
4 April 2008

Column 8

[...] We have an answer to our question regarding number codes on fruit stickers (Column 8, Wednesday) from Lawson's Jenni Kremer, and it seems that nutritional advice plays no part: "I have worked on checkouts for six years, and can tell you that the code is known as a PLU or 'Price Look-Up' code. It's used to enter the fruit or vegetable into the computer, which then brings up the name and price of the item. As far as I'm aware, the selection of the numbers is random." [...]

Sydney Morning Herald
7 April 2008

Column 8

"Jenni Kremer was half right," writes Shane Ewen, of New York (Column 8, Friday). "Those numbers are PLU codes, and they are the 'Price Look Up' codes used by many supermarket checkouts to identify the fruit. But they aren't assigned randomly, they are allocated by the International Federation for Produce Standards. When there are four digits they offer no real information, but if there are five digits the first digit offers some of the information that was sought in the original query. A 9 in front of the four-digit code indicates organically grown produce, while an 8 indicates genetically engineered produce. For those who are really interested, you can read all about PLU codes at www.plucodes.com and if you want to fork out several hundred dollars, you can get a complete list of all the allocated codes."