Food Guides Recipes Buy The Guides Feed Back Food News 100 Best Search Bridgestone Food Guides Bridgestone Guides - details about food lovers and 100 best books

01 July 2009

July 1st, bendy cucumbers, Hallelujah!

This morning, Reuters reports the following. It might seem trivial, but actually it is very important, because it is the application of common sense to the marketplace.
Now, the EU needs to stop regulating vegetables, and get around to regulating those who sell them in supermarkets...

"July 1st marks the return to our shelves of the curved cucumber and the knobbly carrot," EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said.

"More seriously, this is a concrete example of our drive to cut unnecessary red tape. We don't need to regulate this sort of thing at EU level ... It makes no sense to throw perfectly good products away just because they are the 'wrong' size and shape."

EU rules defining minimum shapes and sizes will be repealed for 26 fruits and vegetables - including apricots, aubergines, cherries, garlic, leeks, peas, spinach and watermelons.

Ten standards will remain, including those for apples, citrus fruit, kiwi, peaches, pears, table grapes and tomatoes. Those 10 account for three-quarters of the value of EU cross-border fruit and vegetable trade. But even for these 10 categories, countries will be able to allow shops - for the first time - to sell products that do not meet the EU standards, provided they are labeled to set them apart from 'extra', 'class I' and 'class II' fruit.

"In other words, the new rules will allow national authorities to permit the sale of all fruit and vegetables, regardless of their size and shape," the commission said.