Why you have to choose EU fresh fuits and vegetables

Why you have to choose EU fresh fuits and vegetables

For the European Union the food safety sustainability, the ensuring of the highest product quality and the ecological agriculture production process is always the biggest priority! Below we will present you some of the most basic food safety and quality requirements that EU apply to agriculture production to ensure that the final consumer will always get to his table a completely safe, quality, and nutritional food.


What are mandatory requirements for fresh fruits and vegetables?


Limited use of pesticides

To ensure health, food safety, and avoid any health and environmental risks the European Union (EU) has set maximum residue levels (MRLs) for pesticides in and on food products. EU doesn’t allow any product to have a higher pesticide level than the maximum level she has set up. This happens in order to ensure that all products being produced in EU are completely safe for consumption.

It is worth noting here that in the EU many of the supermarket chains and distributors are even stricter than the EU pesticide limit and they require even lower limits of pesticides in the product from their producers and suppliers. That means that European producers are very careful with the pesticides applypment and they use only the safest supplements in the limited quantity.

Pesticide management takes a lot of responsibility on your part as a producer or exporter. More and more buyers ask for upfront information about your pesticide spray records, and shipments are checked before they are sent to the retailer. For future business, you must take into account that your responsibility as an exporter will play an important role as retail chains put more pressure on their suppliers.

All EU producers apply integrated pest management (IPM) to reduce the amount of pesticide they use. IPM is an agricultural pest control strategy which is also part of GLOBALG.A.P. Certification. It uses natural control practices such as the application of pests’ natural enemies.


Avoiding contaminants:

What are contaminants?

Contaminants are substances, that have not been intentionally added to food but which may be present as a result of the various stages of its production, packaging, transport, or holding.

Similar to the MRLs for pesticides, the European Union has set limits for several contaminants.

EU fresh fruits and vegetable producers make sure and pay great attention during the whole production process to eliminate any risk of microbiological contamination on the fresh EU products.

That’s why the vast majority of EU agriculture producers develop and apply a HACCP plan, and most EU products bear certifications like BRC or IFS, that bases on HACCP principles to ensure the product's highest quality.

Because as we said above for the EU the biggest priority was and always will be the consumer's safety.


Plant health and Phytosanitary regulations:

 Fruit and vegetables being produced in the European Union must comply with European legislation on plant health. The European Union has laid down very strict phytosanitary requirements to prevent the spread of organisms harmful to plants and plant products in Europe. The applying of these legal requirements are supervised by the local authorities.

So, all EU fruit and vegetable producers are very strictly careful about the prevention of plant health, and that's why every fruit or vegetable or other products that becomes from them, consumers eat is completely healthy and safe.


How can you check that the EU products are really safe and with the highest quality?

 As we mentioned above most of the EU fruits and vegetables producers are certified with the most strict food safety and quality standards that ensure the final product highest quality!

Such certifications that EU producers have are GLOBALG.A.P ,HACCP etc.

Let’s find out more below.

Certification as guarantee:

As food safety is a top priority in all European food sectors, you can expect most producers implement the food safety management system based on hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP).


The most commonly requested certification scheme, essential for sale of fresh produce to and from Europe, is GLOBALG.A.P.

This pre-farmgate standard covers the whole agricultural production process from before the plant is in the ground to the unprocessed product.

GLOBALG.A.P. focuses on food safety as well as the environment, labor conditions, and product quality. To be more specific:

The purpose of the application of GLOBAL G.A.P. Fruits and Vegetables is the answer to the growing consumer concerns about issues related to:

  • Food safety
  • Traceability
  • Quality assurance
  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • Field Management
  • Land Management
  • Lubrication Management
  • Complete fight against enemies
  • Plant Protection Management
  • Water management
  • In the new V5 version there are the following changes in requirements:
  • Food safety
  • Handling of Plant Protection Packaging Gaps
  • Sabotage on food
  • Microbiological Risks
  • Environment
  • Energy efficiency
  • Responsible Water Use
  • Pollution control
  • Employee Health and Safety
  • Traceability

IFS, SQF, FSSC 22000:

Another strict food safety and quality management system is IFS food standard, Safe Quality Food (SQF) programme, FSSC 22000 or other industry-developed standards.

Most of the EU fresh fruits and vegetable producers apply multiple food safety management systems and are focus on every safety production detail to ensure the  the biggest food safety and health for all the EU products consumers.

In addition to the official and common requirements, specific requirements apply to niche markets such as organic fruit and vegetables.

Organic, a growing niche market

As we all know organic products are becoming more and more popular and  EU is one of the biggest producer and consumer of organic products.

In order to market organic products in the European Union, you must use organic production methods, which are specified in European legislation. You must have used these production methods for at least 2 years throughout the conversion period before you can certify your product as Organic.

After being audited by an accredited certifier, you can use the EU organic logo on your products, along with the logo of the standard holder.

In 2021, the new organic Regulation will enter into force together with the new Official Control Regulation. Beside checking the compliance with European rules for imported products, it will also reinforce the controls and

enhance possible actions against fraudsters. As a third-country producer, you will have to comply with the same set of rules as those producing in the European Union.

Maintaining the required soil fertility and water retention, avoiding cross-contamination, and using organic inputs and reproductive materials can be a challenge for farmers in countries with tropical climates or with limited access to organic reproductive material and inputs.

Organic production rules

Producing organically means respecting the rules on organic farming. These rules are designed to promote environment protection, maintain the biodiversity of Europe and build consumer trust in organic products. These regulations govern all areas of organic production and are based on a number of key principles, such as:

  • prohibition of the use of GMOs;
  • forbidding the use of ionising radiation;
  • limiting the use of artificial fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides;
  • prohibiting the use of hormones and restrict the use of antibiotics and only when necessary for animal health.

This means that organic producers need to adopt different approaches to maintaining soil fertility and animal and plant health including:

  • crop rotation;
  • cultivation of nitrogen fixing plants and other green manure crops to restore the fertility of the soil
  • prohibition of use of mineral nitrogen fertilisers;
  • to reduce the impact of weeds and pests, organic farmers choose resistant varieties and breeds and techniques encouraging natural pest control;
  • encourage the natural immunological defence of animals;
  • in order to maintain animal health, organic producers need to prevent overstocking.

As we have seen above EU products have all the highest quality and food safety standards to attract all the customers that want to eat healthily, nutrient and delicious fresh fruits and vegetables.

The content of this promotion campaign represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission and the European Research Executive Agency (REA) do not accept any responsibility for any use that may be made of the information it contains.