The “Cucumber regulation” is abolished as from the beginning of July
As the vegetable trade is carried out world wide without the buyer seeing the product before the decision to buy is made, there are common rules on which characteristics a product of a certain class has to have. The special norms are a way of facilitating and standardising the trade.
The special requirements mainly concern the external quality of the product. The requirements remain in force for the ten products that are mostly traded globally. In the future, strawberries, peaches and nectarines, apples, kiwifruit, pears, citrus fruit, grapes, tomatoes, paprika and lettuce (does not concern potted lettuce) have to be classified before they are released to the market and they should correspond to the class specified. The products must fulfil the special requirements set for them, which concern variety, shape, size and other characteristics agreed upon.
The Commission Regulation 1221/2008 comes into force on 1.7.2009. Along with the change of regulation the special requirements are removed from several products (such as cucumber, carrot, onion, cabbage) and in the future only the general requirements concern these.
The general requirements will apply to all fruit and vegetables – also for example Chinese cabbage and beetroot – which the EU legislation has not previously applied to. A general requirement mainly requires that the product is fit for human consumption, that is to say that it is not mouldy or rotten.
With the exception of the ten products mentioned above, all other fruit and vegetables can be marketed without quality classification. If the products still are to be classified in order to assist the trading, the UN standards should be used for the classification. Therefore, a curved cucumber can still not be sold with class 1 markings in the future.
It is always compulsory with all of the products to indicate which country they were produced or grown in, by clearly putting the name of the country on the packaging or if the products are loose, on a sign in the direct vicinity of the point of sale.
The link to the UN fruit and vegetable standards:
For more information, please contact:
Inspector Mari Järvenmäki, tel. +358 40 840 7948, (until 26.6.)
Senior Officer Beata Meinander, tel. +358 20 77 25044, (after 1.7.)