Fruit and Vegetables

Fruit and Vegetables in Europe

Working Party on Fruit and Vegetables

The working party reports to the SCA on issues concerning fresh fruit and vegetables and processed products made of fruit, vegetables and bananas.

More details about Working Party on Fruit and Vegetables

The Marketing Of Fruit Plant

The marketing of fruit plant propagating material of the main fruit species has in principle been regulated by EU directives since 1992. The underlying directive was revised in 2008 (Council Directive 2008/90/EC) and corresponding UK regulations were introduced in 2010. The legislation is now being updated to transpose three Implementing Directives which were agreed in 2014. They are:

  • Commission Implementing Directive 2014/96/EU on requirements for the labelling, sealing and packaging of fruit plant propagating material and fruit plants intended for fruit production
  • Commission Implementing Directive 2014/97/EU on requirements for the registration of suppliers and of varieties and the common list of varieties.
  • Commission Implementing Directive 2014/98/EU giving requirements for named genera and species of fruit plants, requirements to be met by suppliers and detailed rules concerning official inspections.

These directives give detailed requirements for the production and sale of propagating material of regulated species to assure identity and quality. The main species relevant to the UK are strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry. The directives introduce specific requirements for establishing the identity and quality of propagating material and for labelling and packaging, to provide assurance for buyers of the material. Harmonised standards will facilitate the single market, potentially giving UK businesses easier access to other Member States.

The directives set up harmonised EU certification schemes with high standards, while also permitting producers to market uncertified material meeting minimum standards. That is, certification is optional, but if the producer wishes to market certified material, it must meet the EU requirements.

The directives take the same underlying approach as longstanding legislation for the marketing of seed and other propagating material of agricultural and vegetable crops, young vegetable plants, ornamental plants and forestry material

The main points to note are:

  • The introduction of EU harmonised certification schemes to replace various national schemes
  • A requirement to label certified and non-certified propagating material with specified information and the possibility of using specified colours for the three certification grades. These colours match those used internationally for seed certification.

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