Up to 12% of fresh tables grape in class I and class II sales packages could be loose under changes being considered to the relevant international quality standard.
Consultation is now open on the proposed changes until June 30, according to a document published in the wake of last week’s meeting of the Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards Specialized Section on Standardization of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables, part of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
A separate proposal document published before the meeting said loose grape berries occur “due to a treatment with growth regulators or due to over ripeness.”
“A few loose berries, i.e. berries detached from the bunch/cluster may be allowed (on marketing stages following dispatch), provided the loose berries are sound and intact. In order to define the tolerances for loose berries, the following paragraphs are proposed to be added to the tolerances of classes I and II…,” it said.
The proposal for class I was a maximum of 5%, by number or weight, of loose berries, and 10% for class II. But in the document published after the meeting, a maximum of 12% for both classes is proposed.
The changes would be made to the UNECE Standard for Table grapes – FFV-19 (2010). UNECE says such standards facilitate trade, providing traders and inspectors with a reliable reference standard. By referencing the UNECE standard in contracts, traders can be assured the products they order live up to the specified quality and sizing criteria in the standards, it says.