- Limited use of pesticides
The European Union (EU) has set maximum residue levels (MRLs) for pesticides in and on food products. Strict compliance with MRLs and the prevention of microbial contamination are preconditions for entering the European market. Products containing illegal pesticides or higher amounts than allowed will be withdrawn from the EU market
- Control of food imported to the EU
Imported products will be subjected to official controls. These controls are carried out to ensure that all foods marketed in the EU market are safe, i.e. in compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements. The traceability of products is compulsory. To fulfil this obligation, importers in the EU will require you to provide proof of the origin of all fruits and vegetables with a Bill of Lading, phytosanitary certificate, packing list and custom documentation.
- Marketing standards
EU legislation sets general and specific marketing standards for the minimum quality and the minimum maturity of all fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Labelling and packaging
Food placed on the EU market must meet the legislation on food labelling. Note that there is also non product specific legislation on packaging and liability that apply to all goods marketed in the EU.
- Plant Health
Fruit and vegetables exported to the EU, must comply with the EU legislation on plant health. The EU has laid down phytosanitary requirements to prevent introduction and spread of organisms harmful to plants and plant products in the EU.
Contaminants are substances that have not been intentionally added to food, but may be present as a result of the various stages of its production, packaging, transport or holding. EU has set limits for several contaminants. Especially the limits for nitrate (in spinach and lettuce) and metals (cadmium, lead, mercury and inorganic tin) are relevant for fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Certification as guarantee
The most commonly requested food safety certification scheme, essential for exporting fresh produce to Europe, is GLOBALG.A.P. This is a pre-farm-gate standard that covers the whole agricultural production process, from before the plant is in the ground to the non-processed product (processing not covered). GLOBALG.A.P. has become a minimum standard for most European supermarkets. In addition to GLOBALG.A.P., other food safety management systems can be required as well as British Retail Consortium ( BRC) global standards, IFS food standard, Safe Quality Food ( SQF) programme, FSSC22000…