The third meeting of the International Standards Organisation (ISO) Committee preparing Guidance on Unit Pricing was held in Tokyo, at the headquarters of Shufuren (the Japanese association of consumer groups) in December 2016.

Standards Australia is the Secretariat for this international committee and the meeting was chaired by Consumers SA Secretary, John Furbank.

The meeting was hosted by the Japanese Standards Association (JSA) and Shufuren.  Shufuren’s Secretary-General, Ms Makiko Kawamura, welcomed delegates and said that the association 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, Consumers International, 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.

The Working Group made significant progress in developing the draft Guidance on unit pricing standard including rearranging the layout to provide a more logical progression through the standard and indicating how the main principals may be achieved. The added material included: the provision of unit price, units of measure, displaying the unit price and specific requirements for in-store and on-line selling.

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

 

 

 

 

 Committee members and hosts pictured in front of the Japanese Consumers Association’s rice scoop emblem: at the December 2016 meeting of the ISO Unit Pricing Committee.

Committee members and hosts pictured in front of the Japanese Consumers Association’s rice scoop emblem: at the December 2016 meeting of the ISO Unit Pricing Committee.

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AuthorRay Dennis