Wonky fruit survives EU vote
EUROPE’S politicians have thrown out plans to reintroduce a ban on ‘wonky fruit’ and have also voted to amend and strengthen labelling regulations.
But, while a proposal to establish an EU-wide quality logo was successful, an amendment which supported private certification schemes, such as the Red Tractor, was defeated.
The ‘nonsensical wonky fruit ban’ can finally be put to bed, claimed Scottish MEP Alyn Smith after the vote in the European Parliament in Brussels maintained the current position on fruit and vegetable marketing standards.
Some MEPs had called for the reintroduction of previous restrictions on shapes and sizes of fruit and vegetables, so-called ‘uniform standardisation parameters’, including the banning of odd-shaped fruits and vegetables.
The restrictions had only been thrown out by the European Commission last year.
Mr Smith, a member of the European Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, said: “This issue should never have come back to life after the Commission removed the restrictions last year and I sincerely hope we won’t see another resurrection any time soon.”
He said now risk of the imposition of such centralised and bureaucratic ‘standardisation parameters’ had been removed, it was high time attention was turned to the private standards set by supermarkets which were now, and to some extent always had been, the real problem for producers.
“The extra costs and restrictions such standards place on the food supply chain need to be addressed before we are faced with a serious food supply crisis.”
Mr Smith also welcomed the successful passage of an amendment on mandatory country of origin labelling, which, he said, strengthened the previously weak line taken in the Parliament’s Agriculture Committee.
“This new legislation means consumers benefit from full and clear information on all meat and dairy products, providing greater traceability and transparency when they are shopping.”
He described the proposed EU-wide quality logo as ‘nebulous at best and costly and bureaucratic at worst’.