Fruit Business In Europe, How Do They Operate And What Kind Of Regulations Do They Face?

Food products such as fruits and vegetables must be safe for consumers. Food safety requirements therefore apply to these products. There are countless countries that import many tomatoes, onions, bananas, oranges and other fruits and vegetables from abroad. The import of fruit and vegetables is subject to various rules and requirements.

It makes a difference whether you import the products from an EU member state or from a country outside the EU. Import from a country outside the EU means more obligations for you. In this article you can read about all the points for consideration when importing fresh fruit and vegetables.

  • General requirements
  • Specific requirements
  • Organic fruit and vegetables
  • Import from an EU country
  • Import from outside the EU

General requirements

The EU has product requirements for fruits and vegetables destined for the European market. Fruit and vegetables are subject to general requirements that apply to all foods. For example, you must comply with the European General Food Law. This law states that traceability of all foodstuffs intended for consumption is mandatory at all stages of production, processing and distribution. As an importer you have to know where your fruit or vegetables come from and to whom you have delivered them.

In the article Importing food you can read more about general requirements for all food products. Such as legislation on food hygiene and the presence of harmful substances in food.

Specific requirements

Within the EU there are maximum permissible levels of contaminants or pesticides in fruit and vegetables. If you import fresh fruit and vegetables from countries outside the EU, you need a health or phytosanitary certificate from your supplier. This certificate shows that the products are free of harmful organisms (disease and pests).

The EU sets marketing standards for the fruit and vegetables you trade. These marketing standards consist of quality requirements and labelling rules. Most fruit and vegetables must meet general marketing standards. Specific marketing standards apply to certain products.

Organic fruit and vegetables

If you import organic fruit and vegetables, additional requirements apply, such as certification of your business. Organic food products from outside the EU must meet standards equivalent to those for organic food produced in the EU.