In addition to the product name, many other aspects of the product are important in trading plants and flowers. A clear description of those aspects is necessary, particularly as the transaction becomes further disconnected from the physical stream of products. Characteristic codes can be used for this purpose. Characteristic codes each describe a certain aspect of the product. Distinctions include sorting characteristics, botanical characteristics (including flower color), quality characteristics (with inspection codes) and logistical characteristics (e.g. with container codes).
Each characteristic is identified by its own characteristic type number. The different characteristic codes are published with this page as a download. The codes can be used in communication about the product between supplier and client, including trading by intermediation or via a supply bank.