Oct 8, 2011
U.S. Potato Board and Idaho Potato Commission reach agreement

In a press release issued by the United States Potato Board Friday, October 7, 2011, Frank Muir, president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) and Tim O’Connor, president and CEO of the United States Potato Board (USPB) issued a press release stating that the two organizations have reached an agreement resolving areas of concern regarding the USPB’s “Potatoes… Goodness Unearthed” nutritional signature (PGUNS) and retail program. The agreement is being implemented effective immediately.

The agreement further defines changes to the program that were approved by the USPB Administrative Committee at its Summer Meeting in July, resulting in a new set of regulations for the use of PGUNS by the US potato industry. The major elements of the agreement establish a licensing program for all users of PGUNS and design approval by an industry review committee for all applications of PGUNS on potato products for sale and point of sale materials at retail and foodservice to ensure each use is in compliance with the new regulations. The agreement also further clarifies the USPB’s retail program.

“I am pleased the USPB has responded to Idaho’s concerns” said Muir, “Tim and I had a very good discussion that resulted in this agreement which we were able to endorse to our respective organizations.” O’Connor agreed, stating “Frank and I found solutions to the remaining issues by conducting a straight-forward discussion seeking a win-win outcome; I am pleased we were able to reach this agreement and resolve Idaho’s concerns.”

The two organizations agreed to the following uses of PGUNS.

• New regulations have been created for the use of Potatoes…Goodness Unearthed® Nutritional Signature (PGUNS) and will be presented to the industry in the near future.

• All growers and shippers who want to use PGUNS, and all packaging manufacturers who will produce packaging with PGUNS in the design, must be licensed by the USPB to use PGUNS and follow the requirements for its use.

• These regulations and licensing agreements for PGUNS use will clearly instruct the industry on the proper role and use of PGUNS as a nutritional message delivery tool.

• Each design for the use of PGUNS on potato products for sale and point of sale materials at retail and foodservice must be approved for use by the USPB prior to production.

• An industry review committee will ensure that each proposed design is in compliance with the new regulations.

• On retail potato bags and cartons, PGUNS is meant to be used as a nutrition message to reinforce potato’s nutritional attributes. PGUNS cannot be used as the dominant image on any bags and cartons.

• Maximum size for PGUNS has been established as 2.5 inches for bags of 10 lbs or smaller, 3.5 inches for bags larger than 10 lbs and 4 inches on 50 lb cartons. If a holding device is used to highlight PGUNS, the maximum width is measured from the outside edges of the holding device.

• Existing uses of PGUNS on bags, cartons and bins will be granted “grandfathered” approval status, provided that they do not use PGUNS as a dominant image, but will be required to be replaced with new designs that comply with the new regulations when either the design is revised for any reason, or the printing plates require replacement. The result will be through normal design revisions and/or printing plate replacement all uses of PGUNS will comply with these new regulations.

• USPB presentations to retailers will focus on the delivery of consumer and category information.

• A list of targeted retailers and the content of the outreach presentation will be shared in advance with the industry.

• During retail meetings if any topics are raised that go beyond the purpose of the meeting and the presentation content the USPB will defer from responding and bring the appropriate third parties, including state managers and the shippers who supply the retailer, into the dialog.

• The USPB will not engage in designing potato packaging for retailers.

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