John Furbank reports: 3rd meeting of ISO PC249 Guidance on unit pricing

John Furbank, the Chair of the ISO/PC 294 recently attended the 3rd meeting on unit pricing. He reports to us below.

The 3rd meeting of ISO PC294 Guidance on unit pricing was held at the headquarters of Shufuren (association of consumer groups) Tokyo, Japan in December 2016.

Standards Australia is the Secretariat for ISO PC 294 and the meeting attendance included Dr. Svetlana Bogomolova, Australian HOD and CFA Executive members – Ian Jarratt (representing Consumers International) and John Furbank ( ISO PC294 Chair).

The meeting was hosted by the Japanese Standards Association and Shufuren. Ms Makiko Kawamura, Secretary-General, Shufuren welcomed delegates and said Shufuren was founded over sixty years ago by concerned housewives. Hanging from the walls of Shufuren’s headquarters are black and white photographs taken just after the World War II showing streets of marching kimono clad housewives holding aloft replica rice scoops.

The rice scoops were chosen to emphasize the importance of rice to the wellbeing of Japanese families and are said to contain messages to the then Government about the pilfering of rice by public officials, black market activities, and peace. Currently, Shufuren has been actively working on the issues of food safety, product safety, and accident investigation for consumers. The rice scoop is still used as an emblem of Shufuren.

The meeting heard presentations from Dr. Svetlana Bogomolova, Review of literature regarding principles of information presentation; Ian Jarratt CI, Legibility and prominence of grocery unit prices; Ms Amy Kato, Japanese Delegate, Unit pricing in Japan and Ms Nor Laila Mohd Samin, Malaysian Delegate On-line and in-store marketing.

ISO PC294 WG1 made significant progress further developing ISO WD 21041 Guidance on unit pricing including rearranging the layout to provide a more logical progression through the Standard, and added material as to how the main principals may be achieved. The added material incl ded the provision of unit price, units of measure, displaying the unit price and specific requirements for in-store and on-line selling

Following the ISO PC294 meeting many of the delegates participated in a JSA/Shufuren seminar on unit pricing, which brought together consumer groups and retailers. While the seminar was not part of the ISO meeting and focused on unit pricing generally, it did provide opportunity to promote the value of standards to the Japanese consumer and retail sector.