Everything You Need To Know About Product Information Forms

Posted on 
October 31, 2023

No matter the industry a company is in, managing and navigating complex supply chains and product information is a complex task. That's why the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) developed Product Information Form Version 6 (PIF), effective in Australia and New Zealand.

Product Information Forms are an industry tool that acts as a blueprint, helping teams standardize their product ingredients and information - ensuring that all legal and regulatory measures are met.

Originally developed by the food industry to track a wide variety of information about food products and ingredients in a single document, it has since been adopted by additional food manufacturing sectors and the retail industry. 

From ingredient breakdowns and safety guidelines to regulatory compliance details, Product Information Forms (PIF) ensure that products are up to standards, especially with the rise of consumer demand for transparency.

And the beauty of Product Information Forms (PIF) is that they are valuable to all stakeholders by providing all necessary product specifications.  From manufacturers to retailers and distributors Product information Forms ensure that everyone has the necessary details they need about a product, making everyone's jobs easier in the end.     

Why Product Information Forms Matter?

Although Product Information Forms are only applicable to Australia and New Zealand, similar forms can be found around the globe and are likely to continue rising. 

With regulatory compliance on the rise, especially related to food safety and standards, the importance of accurate product information cannot be overstated.  

Different markets, locations, and products require different legal requirements. In order to meet these standards cross functionally all stakeholders must have access to product data.  

Not only do Product Information Forms (PIFs) ensure that stringent market standards are met, but they also support consumer safety. Access to this additional information empowers consumers to make informed decisions about the food they are consuming and the products they are purchasing. 

At the end of the day, Product Information Forms should matter whether you are a consumer or a supplier, as they elevate products that prioritize safety, quality, and integrity.

Benefits of Product Information Forms

Furthermore, the benefits of Product Information Forms are far-reaching. As stated before food standards and regulatory requirements are on the rise and meeting these standards is no longer a nice to have but a requirement.

From allergen management and sustainability measures to shelf life and ingredient declaration, product information forms have it all, helping products pass any necessary pre-market clearance.  

Beyond enhanced product quality and safety, product information forms can also help companies maintain product consistency. With the rise of complex and global supply chains, it is imperative to implement practices that enable clear communication and traceability. With consistent records of information, companies can streamline communication and interactions between various facilities.     

On the consumer front, product information forms empower buyers to be well-informed about the products they are purchasing and consuming. With detailed product descriptions and requirements, consumers can avoid being misinformed and companies can build consumer trust. Building consumer trust gives a competitive advantage to those saying, yes to this change.        

Components of a Product Information Form

So now you may be wondering, what does a Product Information Form actually consist of?

It is likely that depending on the product’s country of origin and regulatory environment, as well as the industry, some elements of product information forms may vary - although many of the details remain consistently the same. 

Here are some of the most common elements:

  • Product name
  • Product code 
  • Company name 
  • Company Phone number
  • Ingredients, Composition, and Microbiological Makeup 
  • Pack sizes 
  • Allergen and Nutritional Information
  • Packaging and Labeling Information
  • Safety and Handling instructions 
  • Additional product details 

Read more about the details of product information forms and how to download your own on the Australian Food & Grocery Council website

How to Create an Effective Product Information Form

In order to develop effective Product Information Forms it is important that all previous product data and specifications are centralized and workflows are clear.

Engaging with all stakeholders and members of your supply chain will be valuable for filling in as much detailed information about your products as possible. This may be done through a questionnaire or survey to access how much data different stakeholders have. 

It is likely that the different food and grocery manufacturers a company works with have product data stored in Excel or other legacy systems - this has to go. 

Prior to filling in product data and specifications teams should familiarize themselves with regulations within the market they operate in. This is important because different countries, regions, and industries may have unique PIF requirements.

Once you have developed a standardized PIF template it is important that the adoption of this new process is known across your organization.

Over time regulations, formulations, and market demands will change and these changes should be reflected in your finished product PIFs. Internal and external stakeholders should be trained on PIFs and what is expected of them to improve overall business processes.  

Product Information Form Solutions with Specright 

Similar to the implementation of any new process, companies may face challenges. All though as stated before food safety regulations and safety standards across all other industries are on the rise making the application of these forms even greater. 

Using the data housed in Specification Data Management (SDM) tools like Specright, companies are able to easily gather all necessary product information from stakeholders around the globe.  

By empowering data accuracy and consistency through cloud-based specifications adopting Product Information Forms will be much more seamless. No matter where stakeholders are in the world, with Specright, team members are able to access all product data and specifications at the click of a button. 

To learn more about how Specright can empower your business to seamlessly implement Product Information Forms, request a demo.


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