Industry Terms

Select thesymbol to learn more about the term.

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U W Y
Symbol for pound (lb)
An Importer Security Filing Request Form for Customs purposes only, completed by the Importer to indicate what is shipping on the container. The form must be completed 72 hours prior to loading at point of Origin.
12 bags, each weighing 12 ounces per case
Sugar pack - nineteen parts fruit for one part sugar or equivalent sweetener = 5% sugar
20' RF
A refrigerated container with a 20' length
Sugar pack - twenty seven parts fruit for one part sugar or equivalent sweetener = 3.57% sugar
Sugar pack - four parts fruit for one part sugar or equivalent sweetener = 20% sugar
40’ RF
A refrigerated container with a 40' length
Sugar pack - five parts fruit for one part sugar or equivalent sweetener = 16.7% sugar
6 pails, each weighing 6.5# per case
Sugar pack - six parts fruit for one part sugar or equivalent sweetener = 14.3% sugar
Sugar pack - seven parts fruit for one part sugar or equivalent sweetener = 12.5% sugar
American Institute of Baking - Auditing agency for plants and field. AIB provides third party Audits, Food Safety Inspections, Certifications, Food Safety Education, and Research & Technical Services to processing plants.
A substance that is known by the monitoring agency to cause irritation to individuals that have a sensitivity to this component.
Aerobic Plate Count - aerobic bacterial count
A process that heat treats the product to a degree that enables a shelf stable product at room temperature. It is a complete bacteria and enzyme neutralizing process.
Ascorbic acid is a sugar acid with antioxidant properties and is used as preservative and a color retention agent. One of the best known forms of ascorbic acid is Vitamin C.
Bunquer adjustment factor - fuel surcharge on dry containers
Terrorism involving the intentional release or dissemination of biological agents (bacteria, viruses, or toxins)
Blast freezing
Blast Freezers are extremely cold freezers - they bring the temperature of foods down, freezing them extremely quickly. This helps preserve the integrity of the food and inhibits bacterial growth. Many Blast freezers operate with blowers which force chilled air over the food in the freezer to cool it down rapidly.
Block frozen
Product is frozen in a solid block
Bill of Lading
Degrees Brix (symbol °Bx) is a unit representative of the sugar content of an aqueous solution. One degree Brix corresponds to 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution. In food Brix represent the dry solids dissolved in a sample. Dissolved solids are rarely exclusively sucrose hence °Bx value cannot be equated with the sucrose content but it represents a good approximation of the total sugar content. Brix is used in the food industry for measuring the approximate amount of sugars in fruits, vegetables, juices, wine, soft drinks and in the starch and sugar manufacturing industry.
Bunquer contribution - fuel surcharge on reefer
Container and freight. Does not include other charges such as customs clearance, FDA holds, container charges, etc..
Cash Against Documents. Documents are released to the customer as soon as the customer has paid for the product.
Case Cube
The volume of a case - see our conversion calculator
Case pick
A charge when ordering less than pallet quantities from a warehouse.
Certificate of Origin
Certificate created at the plant that describes the technical aspects of the indicated production, including quality specification, micro biological testing results, lot numbers, day codes, etc.
CFR (Cost and Freight)
This term formerly known as CNF (C&F) defines two distinct and separate responsibilities-one is dealing with the actual cost of merchandise "C" and the other "F" refers to the freight charges to a predetermined destination point. It is the shipper/seller's responsibility to get goods from their door to the port of destination. "Delivery" is accomplished at this time. It is the buyer's responsibility to cover insurance from the port of origin or port of shipment to buyer's door. Given that the shipper is responsible for transportation, the shipper also chooses the forwarder.
Congestion - a charge when moving containers through crowded areas.
Measure of the firmness of the fruit - percentage by weight that is mushy, disintegrated or seedy. A USDA Grade A is a reasonably firm fruit.
CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight)
This arrangement similar to CFR, but instead of the buyer insuring the goods for the maritime phase of the voyage, the shipper/seller will insure the merchandise. In this arrangement, the seller usually chooses the forwarder. "Delivery" as above, is accomplished at the port of destination.
CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To)
This term is primarily used for multimodal transport. Because it relies on the carrier's insurance, the shipper/seller is only required to purchase minimum coverage. When this particular agreement is in force, Freight Forwarders often act in effect, as carriers. The buyer's insurance is effective when the goods are turned over to the Forwarder.
Citric acid
A citrus based color preservative added to prevent oxidation
Some units in the case have stuck together and are not all individually free flowing
Certificate of analysis. A report created at the time of production that details the physical, chemical and microbiological characteristics of the product.
Shipping term - CHANGE OF DESTINATION when shipping product
Cost of Goods Sold
Cold chain
The maintenance of finished product at 0°F or below from production, storage and distribution to the final consumer.
Coliform is the name for the Enterobacteriaceae family. It is the commonly-used bacterial indicator of sanitary quality of foods and water. They are defined as rod-shaped Gram-negative non-spore forming organisms
A process that removes water from the fruit and enhances the fruit value by that proportion
Congestion surcharge
Applies to containers on barge, or barge-road transports both pre and on-carriage from or to the ports.
An ocean-going trailer that holds product
CPT (Carriage Paid To)
In CPT transactions the shipper/seller has the same obligations found with CIF, with the addition that the seller has to buy cargo insurance, naming the buyer as the insured while the goods are in transit.
Broken pieces from production
Fruit variety developed through horticulture means
Customs broker
An agent that processes the import of products from other countries.
DAT (Delivered At Terminal)
This term is used for any type of shipments. The shipper/seller pays for carriage to the terminal, except for costs related to import clearance, and assumes all risks up to the point that the goods are unloaded at the terminal.
DAP (Delivered At Place)
DAP term is used for any type of shipments. The shipper/seller pays for carriage to the named place, except for costs related to import clearance, and assumes all risks prior to the point that the goods are ready for unloading by the buyer.
DDP (Delivered Duty Paid)
DDP term tend to be used in intermodal or courier-type shipments. Whereby, the shipper/seller is responsible for dealing with all the tasks involved in moving goods from the manufacturing plant to the buyer/consignee's door. It is the shipper/seller's responsibility to insure the goods and absorb all costs and risks including the payment of duty and fees.
Blemishes or damage on the fruit
Product price is delivered to a specific location
Added costs that are incurred when a container is not removed from the port within a designated time frame
Door to Door
Product price includes pickup at the plant and delivery for a specific container
Door to Port
Product price includes pickup at the plant and delivery to a designated port.
Dry Ice
Dry Ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide, it is used as a cooling agent to ship samples.
E. coli
Escherichia coli (E. coli), is a form of coliform bacteria. E. coli are almost exclusively of fecal origin and their presence is thus an effective confirmation of fecal contamination.
Edge Crush Test - used to measure the strength of cardboard boxes.
Emergency Fuel Surcharge
Energy surcharge
An added energy cost that is related to the increase in energy expense.
Form used in international commodity traffic. The application of this form is based on application of various bi - and multilateral agreements within the Pan-European preference system (the European Union Association Agreement).
EXW (EX-Works)
One of the simplest and most basic shipment arrangements places the minimum responsibility on the seller with greater responsibility on the buyer. In an EX-Works transaction, goods are basically made available for pickup at the shipper/seller's factory or warehouse and "delivery" is accomplished when the merchandise is released to the consignee's freight forwarder. The buyer is responsible for making arrangements with their forwarder for insurance, export clearance and handling all other paperwork.
FAS (Free Alongside Ship)*
In these transactions, the buyer bears all the transportation costs and the risk of loss of goods. FAS requires the shipper/seller to clear goods for export, which is a reversal from past practices. Companies selling on these terms will ordinarily use their freight forwarder to clear the goods for export. "Delivery" is accomplished when the goods are turned over to the Buyers Forwarder for insurance and transportation.
FCA (Free Carrier)
In this type of transaction, the seller is responsible for arranging transportation, but he is acting at the risk and the expense of the buyer. Where in FOB the freight forwarder or carrier is the choice of the buyer, in FCA the seller chooses and works with the freight forwarder or the carrier. "Delivery" is accomplished at a predetermined port or destination point and the buyer is responsible for Insurance.
Food and Drug Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
FDA Number
A Food and Drug registration number is required for importing containers into the US
Flash Pasteurized
A rapid pasteurization treatment that aims to preserve as much nutrients and maintain color as possible
Flat bed
A truck that does not have a fully contained trailer attached
Taste should be typical of the fruit processed. This is verified in the Certificates of Analysis
Freight on board. Normally the originating location of the product.
FOB (Free On Board)
One of the most commonly used-and misused-terms, FOB means that the shipper/seller uses his freight forwarder to move the merchandise to the port or designated point of origin. Though frequently used to describe inland movement of cargo, FOB specifically refers to ocean or inland waterway transportation of goods. "Delivery" is accomplished when the shipper/seller releases the goods to the buyer's forwarder. The buyer's responsibility for insurance and transportation begins at the same moment.
Foreign material
In-organic material - such as rocks or plastic.
A vehicle that allows the picking up and placement of palletized products to new locations
Free flowing
Frozen product can be removed from the case while still frozen in individual units as required.
Freight Forwarder
An agent that processes the export of product to other countries.
Fuel Surcharge
Added delivery charge that is related to the fuel consumption and mileage for the delivery
see Good Agricultural Practices
The refrigeration unit on a trailer or container that is used to maintain the cold chain
see Global Food Safety Initiative
Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)
GFSI schemes to ensure safe food, examples are Safe Quality Foods (SQF), British Retail Consortium (BRC), and International Food Standard (IFS).
Genetically modified organisms
Good Manufacturing Practices
Good Agricultural Practice
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) are principles applied in farming and post-production processes, resulting in safe and healthy food, while taking into account economical, social and environmental sustainability. GAPs may be applied to a wide range of farming systems and at different scales. They are applied through sustainable agricultural methods, such as integrated pest management, integrated fertilizer management and conservation agriculture. The implementation of such a management strategy requires knowing, understanding, planning, measuring, monitoring, and record-keeping at each step of the production process.
Underripe fruit
Gross weight
Weight of the product plus packaging
Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Points is a system to identify potential threats in the production process
Handling charges
Can also be called in and out charges. These are charges made by the warehouse for handling the product to bring into storage and then out again - it is a one time charge that is typically charged when the product first arrives at the warehouse.
Harmless extraneous material - any vegetable (plant) substance, such as leaf or stems that are harmless
Imported product is placed On Hold for a specific reason and will need to undergo a further inspection prior to release.
Product database that is used in many retail and foodservice distributors
In gauge. A maritime term meaning that the container is within size limitation
In and Out charges
see Handling Charges
Inbound/ Outbound appointments
Most warehouses require appointments to bring product into storage (inbound) or out (outbound)
Each INCOTERM refers to a type of agreement for the purchase and shipping of goods internationally. There are 11 different terms, each of which helps users deal with different situations involving the movement of goods. For example, the term FCA is often used with shipments involving Ro/Ro or container transport.

INCOTERMS also deal with the documentation required for global trade, specifying which parties are responsible for which documents. Determining the paperwork required to move a shipment is an important job, since requirements vary so much between countries. Two items, however, are standard: the commercial invoice and the packing list.

INCOTERMS were created primarily for people inside the world of global trade. Outsiders frequently find them difficult to understand. Seemingly common words such as "responsibility" and "delivery" have different meanings in global trade than they do in other situations.

In global trade, "delivery" refers to the seller fulfilling the obligation of the terms of sale or to completing a contractual obligation. "Delivery" can occur while the merchandise is on a vessel on the high seas and the parties involved are thousands of miles from the goods. In the end, however, the terms wind up boiling down to a few basic specifics:
  • Costs: who is responsible for the expenses involved in a shipment at a given point in the shipment's journey?
  • Control: who owns the goods at a given point in the journey?
  • Liability: who is responsible for paying damage to goods at a given point in a shipment's transit?
It is essential for shippers to know the exact status of their shipments in terms of ownership and responsibility. It is also vital for sellers & buyers to arrange insurance on their goods while the goods are in their "legal" possession. Lack of insurance can result in wasted time, lawsuits, and broken relationships.

INCOTERMS can thus have a direct financial impact on a company's business. What is important is not the acronyms, but the business results. Often companies like to be in control of their freight. That being the case, sellers of goods might choose to sell CIF, which gives them a good grasp of shipments moving out of their country, and buyers may prefer to purchase FOB, which gives them a tighter hold on goods moving into their country.

In this glossary, we'll tell you what terms such as CIF and FOB mean and their impact on the trade process. In addition, since we realize that most international buyers and sellers do not handle goods themselves, but work through customs brokers and freight forwarders, we'll discuss how both fit into the terms under discussion.

INCOTERMS are most frequently listed by category. Terms beginning with F refer to shipments where the primary cost of shipping is not paid for by the seller. Terms beginning with C deal with shipments where the seller pays for shipping. E-terms occur when a seller's responsibilities are fulfilled when goods are ready to depart from their facilities. D terms cover shipments where the shipper/seller's responsibility ends when the goods arrive at some specific point. Because shipments are moving into a country, D terms usually involve the services of a customs broker and a freight forwarder. In addition, D terms also deal with the pier or docking charges found at virtually all ports and determining who is responsible for each charge.

Recently the ICC changed basic aspects of the definitions of a number of INCOTERMS, buyers and sellers should be aware of this. Terms that have changed have a star alongside them. These terms can be found elsewhere in this reference.
Another measure when grading food is the presence of insects. Insect damage will be considered a defect.
Integrated Fertilizer Management
Integrated Fertilizer Management is a complete approach to managing fertilizer application and use. The application of fertilizers at appropriate moments and in adequate doses (i.e., when the plant needs the fertilizer), to avoid run-off (see nitrogen balance method). Maintaining or restoring soil organic content, by manure application, use of grazing, crop rotation.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Integrated pest management (IPM) is an integrated approach of managing crops and its main goal is to significantly reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides while at the same time managing pest populations at an acceptable level
A railway system of loading trailers or containers onto a flatbed rail for delivery using the rail system.
see Integrated Pest Management
Individually quick frozen - individual fruit units are frozen separately and are free flowing
IQF Tunnel
The equipment used to rapidly and continuously freeze products individually
Juice stock
Product normally from the field that includes caps, stems, and other HEM that is sorted for use in Juice and puree applications
Julian Date
Sequential day of the year. 001 through 365
2.2046 lbs
Food in accord with Jewish law is termed kosher in English. Food which is fit for consumption by Jews according to traditional Jewish law.
Listeria is a gram-positive, motile bacterium that causes Listeriosis. Listeriosis is relatively rare and occurs primarily in newborn infants, elderly patients, and patients who are immunocompromised.The symptoms of listeriosis usually last 7–10 days. The most common symptoms are fever and muscle aches and vomiting. Nausea and diarrhea are less common symptoms.
Lot no.
Lot number is assigned by production to label product as to when it was processed or a lot number is assigned by a warehouse for a particular inbound shipment and where it is located in their warehouse.
Lot withdrawal
A charge for removing a lot from the warehouse.
Molds are fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments. In contrast, microscopic fungi that grow as single cells are called yeasts. Some molds cause food spoilage.
Net weight
Weight of the product itself
Shipping term- non-freight tax
Smell, scent, aroma should be typical of the fruit processed - tested in the Certificate of Analysis.
No man made chemicals added during the preparation, cultivation, or harvesting of the fruit. Land must be prepped according to Organic guidelines
PACA License
Perishable Agriculture Commodities Act places a prioritized lien on the assets of a company that purchases product from an agricultural products vendor. This is aimed to keep the food supply healthy in the event of business failures
Packing list
An itemization of the various products that make up the shipment
Wooden or plastic platform on which finished goods are stacked in a particular pallet configuration to facilitate movement through distribution.
Pallet configuration
This is the way the pallets are stacked - ti x hi.
Pallet exchange
Trucking company must provide as many pallets as they are picking up
Pallet jack
A mechanical hydraulic lift that enables pallets to be moved along a level floor
Pantone colors
A standardized color scheme sometimes used to describe the color of fruit
Heat treatment of the product to enable a bacteria kill and neutralize the active enzymes
Payment Terms
Detail of the sale that address the specific terms for the transfer of funds
Panama Canal Surcharge - used when containers go via de Panama canal
An organic or inorganic compound that aids in the control of insect degradation of the plant
Parts per million
Pre-cooling rapidly removes heat from freshly cut produce before being shipped, stored or processed. This reduces the rate of water loss and spoilage and helps maintain freshness and quality.
Processing line
A production plants route for the movement of it's product along a designated route to enhance its' value
Production sample - dry ice
A representative amount of product that physically verifies the lot quality. This is usually sent via dry ice for control purposes.
Purchase Order
Numerical customer documentation that commits to purchasing a specific product, quantity at a specific time frame.
Product is pushed through different sized screens to produce a puree. Variation in screen sizes will produce a seedless and with seeds puree. Raspberry puree with seeds is referred to as sieved.
Quality Assurance
Research and Development
Raw fruit grading
Fruit is graded as it comes into the plant for processing
Refrigerated container or truck
A refractometer is the instrument used to measure the refractive index or Brix of a substance. The refractive index is a measure of the speed of light in that substance as a ratio of the speed of light in vacuum. For a solution of sugar, the refractive index can be used to determine the sugar content (see Brix).
Ryan Recorder
A recording device used when shipping product that graphically illustrates the temperature range for a specified length of time.
Safe Quality Foods (SQF)
Safe Quality Food Program (SQF) is one of the GFSI standards - a comprehensive food safety and quality management certification system for food manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors. SQF can be applied at all levels of the food supply chain. SQF offers two codes: SQF 1000 for primary producers and SQF 2000 for manufacturers (processing plants).
SQF 1000
One of the SQF codes for primary producers. The codes recognize that risk management can be applied to all products, but not all processes lend themselves to a complete HACCP system. SQF is based on HACCP principles whereas SQF 2000 code is a complete HACCP system.
SQF 2000
One of the SQF codes for manufacturers. SQF 2000 is a complete HACCP-Based Supplier Assurance Code for the Food Manufacturing and Distributing industries.
Sales Confirmation
Written verification of the terms of the sales agreement
Sales Order
Document that details the components of the sale such as description, style, quantity, price, delivery terms, etc.
Salmonellosis is an infection with Salmonella bacteria. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps 8 to 72 hours after infection. In most cases, the illness lasts 4 to 7 days and most people recover without treatment. However, in some persons the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient becomes dangerously dehydrated and must be taken to a hospital. At the hospital, the patient may receive intravenous fluids to treat the dehydration, and medications may be given to provide symptomatic relief, such as fever reduction. In severe cases, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites, and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to develop severe illness. Some people afflicted with salmonellosis later experience reactive arthritis, which can have long-lasting, disabling effects.
Score sheets
Grading sheets to identify the product quality during processing
Seal is a security fastener that is placed on trucks and containers to ensure that it is not opened or tampered. The seals come in many forms - bolt, flat metal, cable, barrier or plastic. They have a number that is noted at the time of shipment and should only broken at the time of unloading at final destination.
Used to describe raspberry puree with seeds.
Slip sheets
Strong cardboard sheet that are used to transfer pallet quantities of product without the need of actual pallets.
Solid pack
Product has frozen in a solid block
Sort out from fresh
Individual units of product have been removed from the fresh production line as they did not meet the customer grade for defects, color, character
Sort out from process line
Individual units of product removed from the processing line as they did not meet the customer grade for defects, color, character
Shipper owned surcharge - this charge is only applicable if the actual container itself is property of the shipper
Standard Plate Count - determines the total amount of bacteria in a specific amount of product.
see Safe Quality Foods
A food starch thickener
Straight pack (sp)
Straight pack - no sugar or other ingredients added usually refers to block frozen product.
Sugar syrup
A liquefied mixture of sugar and water
Sugar, splendor, agave, stevia, aspartame
Sea Way Bill - when the BOL is printed in port of discharge
Container weight without product; gross weight minus net weight
Container term - twenty equivalent units. A 40 refer would be twice a TEU.
Ti x hi
Quantity per layer (ti) and layers (hi) per pallet - pallet configuration
Total Plate Count - count of all bacteria
The act of transferring product from one freight carrier to another
Truck to Truck
The distribution method of transferring products from the sellers' truck to the buyers' truck.
An over the road vehicle that delivers commodities
Colony-forming units per gram - used to measure TPC, SPC, APC
United States Department of Agriculture
USDA AG Permit
Application for permit to import plants or plant products
USDA grade A
It is the top USDA grade. USDA provides a grading system to describe the quality and condition of products in the marketplace providing a uniform language.
USDA - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - APHIS serves to facilitate safe trade, regulate the import and export of plants, and help exporters meet the entry requirements of other countries.
Whole and broken
Whole units of fruit mixed with pieces or crumbles. Ratios such as 80-20 or 60-40 can be used to describe the whole and broken percentages in a pack. For example an 80-20 means that 80% of the pack is whole and 20% is crumbles.
Native species of the plant that has not been bred
Yeasts are unicellular, although some species with yeast forms may become multicellular through the formation of a string of connected budding cells known as pseudohyphae, or false hyphae, as seen in most molds. The yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used in baking and fermenting alcoholic beverages. Other species of yeast, such as Candida albicans, are opportunistic pathogens and can cause infections in humans.
industry terms