Scotland’s only full member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee Mr Alyn Smith has today (Monday) hailed the entrance of new EU marketing regulations which mark the end of the restrictions put in place after the infamous “straight banana” ruling.

Last November the European Parliament agreed to relax common standards which had been agreed to years ago in order to standardise EU trade in fruit and vegetables.

The new regulations will allow the sale of curvy cucumbers, curious carrots and bendy bananas where previously irregular shaped fruit and veg was usually only used in processed food. The rules also simplify how retailers can market produce without misleading consumers.

Smith said:

“Previous rules on fruit and veg standards have proved to be too proscriptive so this is good news for producers and consumers. To keep the regulations to a bare minimum is the right approach though the predicted benefits for reduction in food waste may well be overstated.

“I’m not convinced by retailers promising savings of 40% because in my experience the EU rules are far, far more flexible than the rules the supermarkets enforce on their producers, but anything that declutters the EU legislative playing field has to be good news.

“Nevertheless, at a time of food price inflation, it is the right approach to ensure that as much food produced can actually reach the consumer, providing more choice in terms of shape, size and price on our shelves.”

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