Marketing standards for 26 types of farm produce have been abandoned in an attempt to reduce the estimated 20% of produce which is currently wasted due to the regulations. The rules were first introduced in the 1980s to guarantee common standards across the EU, but have always been considered an example of ‘Euro-madness’.
Nevertheless, the new change in regulation will not apply to 10 types of produce, including apples and citrus fruit, although rules regarding the sale of these fruits will be relaxed. The commission has said shops will be able to sell these products even if they do not meet regulations as long as they are correctly labelled; for example, as a product ‘intended for processing’. Prices for these products are also expected to be lower.
The EU’s Agriculture Commissioner has called the change ‘a new dawn for the curvy cucumber and the knobbly carrot’, saying ‘we simply don’t need to regulate this sort of thing at EU level. It is far better to leave it to market operators’.