THE NEW CODE IN PRODUCE

Retailers are starting to play hardball with the supply side of the produce industry.Some major chains are telling grower-shippers they will reject perfectly good -- even top-quality -- bulk produce unless it arrives already stickered with new standardized identification codes.The codes, called price look-up codes, or PLUs, are designed to add computer-based efficiencies to the produce department.

Retailers are starting to play hardball with the supply side of the produce industry.

Some major chains are telling grower-shippers they will reject perfectly good -- even top-quality -- bulk produce unless it arrives already stickered with new standardized identification codes.

The codes, called price look-up codes, or PLUs, are designed to add computer-based efficiencies to the produce department. While they have been in existence since 1990, it is only now, as companie

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