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NEWARK, Del. -- Armed with a mandate to examine the future of global produce standards in several key areas, the International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS) has been officially incorporated in the United Kingdom, with the Produce Marketing Association here assuming responsibility as the organization’s secretary-general.
Composed of produce associations from around the globe, the IFPS evolved from a body originally brought together to address the international harmonization of the industry-defined PLU (Price Look Up) codes. Building on the success of those efforts, a decision was made to expand the focus of the group to create the first industry forum of its kind. (Story continues below.)
In addition to providing an international forum to address issues that require international harmonization or standardization for the produce sectors, the organization further creates the first incorporated body constituted of national organizations providing direct representation of their respective countries' constituents.
Initially the IFPS will focus on four key issues: industry technologies such as product identification and RFID; traceability and the harmonization of existing guidelines and standards; pesticides, including information gathering on country-specific MRLs (maximum residue limits), legislative changes, and implications for global trade; and GAP (good agricultural practices).
Jane Proctor of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and Stuart Johnston of United Fresh (NZ) will serve as chair and vice-chair, respectively.
"The IFPS is the result of a significant amount of work by the founding members and provides a go-to body for international standard-setting organizations," said Proctor.