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Idaho Potato Commission and U.S. Potato Board reach agreement on PGU dispute

by PN Staff | October 07, 2011

The Idaho Potato Commission and the U.S. Potato Board announce Oct. 7 that an agreement has been reached to resolve the areas of concern regarding the board's "Potatoes: Goodness Unearthed" nutritional signature and retail program. The agreement is supported by their respective organizations and is being implemented effective immediately.

The agreement further defines changes to the program that were approved by the board's Administrative Committee at its summer meeting in July, resulting in a new set of regulations for the use of the "Potatoes: Goodness Unearthed" nutritional signature by the U.S. potato industry.

The major elements of the agreement establish a licensing program for all users of the PGU nutritional signature and design approval by an industry review committee for all applications 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 board's retail program.

"I am pleased the USPB has responded to Idaho's concerns," Frank Muir, president and chief executive officer of the Idaho Potato Commission, said in an Oct. 7 press release. "Tim and I had a very good discussion that resulted in this agreement, which we were able to endorse to our respective organizations."

"Frank and I found solutions to the remaining issues by conducting a straight-forward discussion seeking a win-win outcome," Tim O'Connor, president and chief executive of the U.S. Potato Board, added in the press release. "I am pleased we were able to reach this agreement and resolve Idaho's concerns."


Highlights of the agreement

New regulations have been created for the use of Potatoes: Goodness Unearthed nutritional signature and will be presented to the industry in the near future. The agreements includes the following points:

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

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

• Each design for the use of the PGU nutritional signature on potato products for sale and point-of-sale materials at retail and foodservice must be approved for use by the board 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, the PGU nutritional signature is meant to be used as a nutrition message to reinforce potato's nutritional attributes. The PGU nutritional signature cannot be used as the dominant image on any bags and cartons.

• Maximum size for the PGU nutritional signature has been established as 2.5 inches for bags of 10 pounds or smaller, 3.5 inches for bags larger than 10 pounds and four inches on 50-pound cartons. If a holding device is used to highlight the PGU nutritional signature, the maximum width is measured from the outside edges of the holding device.

• Existing uses of the PGU nutritional signature on bags, cartons and bins will be granted "grandfathered" approval status, provided that they do not use the PGU nutritional signature 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 the PGU nutritional signature will comply with these new regulations.

• U.S. Potato Board 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 board will defer from responding and bring the appropriate third parties, including state managers and the shippers who supply the retailer, into the dialog.

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