As announced by the Floral Industry and discussed in our previous post on Billy Balls, we are moving toward product and box barcodes on cut flower products by 2010. So let’s look at the first milestone and see what needs to be done to be ready. According to the plan the first step is for all cut flower producers to obtain a GS1 Company Prefix by September 2009. This includes growers, private labelers, bouquet makers, and any other entity that has its own brand of flowers. Simply put, a Company Prefix (CP) is a unique number throughout the world that gets assigned to individual companies by the GS1 organization. In the US, the GS1 is called the GS1.US, and there are similar organizations to administer other countries. The length Company Prefix used to be a fixed length but now varies from 6 to 9 digits based on the number of products and boxes that need to be barcoded. Company Prefixes can be obtained in a few days, and the price varies based on the size of the company (sales revenues) and the issuing country. Once a grower or other flower producer has obtained their Company Prefix, this number will be coded into a standardized barcode for labeling of each product and box being sold. We will dissect a barcode in our next post… stay tuned!