GPC codes are classification codes that apply to all kinds of item groups (e.g. ‘dairy products’) as distinguished in the retail branch and are used primarily for organising such matters as category management, shelf plans, sourcing, current product information, etc. It thus became apparent that developing a GPC classification would also be useful in the floriculture sector; Floricode and GS1 Nederland have thus taken on this challenge.
Since this GPC system for floriculture is being based on the familiar Linnaeus classification of plants into their genus and specific epithet, most of this information will be available from Floricode’s Plantscope registration database. The system is being further refined by adding a classification of the most important characteristics (such as colour) of species.
Product and market experts are also being involved in developing the GPC coding system for floriculture. The most important genera used for cut flowers, pot plants and garden plants are being classified first. This means that GPC codes for around 75% of the current assortment will be available during the initial phase of classification. Expansion will then be done as needed.
GPC codes will not replace existing product coding systems but some extra tables will be added to Floricode’s distribution files. The retail branch in particular is expected to make use of these new GPC codes for floriculture products, but US Customs is also interested in this Dutch project as a means to carry out import controls on flowers and plants more efficiently.
Auctions and growers have already displayed an interest because GPC could also make a substantial contribution to supporting their processes. The VBN item codes for all cultivars and varieties will not be eliminated; they are too detailed to be used in this classification system.
The GPC coding system for flowers and plants will correspond to the GPC coding system for fruits and vegetables. Floricode and GS1 reached agreement on the development of GPC codes for the floriculture sector during the spring 2014 GS1 international conference held in Dallas. There is also broad support for this coding system in the retail branch, and the first version of it has been officially established.
Here you find a Frequently Asked Questions Factsheet as well as a detailed presentation about the content and structure of the GPC coding system for flowers and plants.