FRUITS AND vegetables of all shapes and sizes will once again go on sale across Europe from next July following the scrapping of controversial EU rules that prevented misshapen or oddly-sized produce being sold.
The marketing standards for 26 types of produce were scrapped, in a bid to cut bureaucracy, which the EU’s agricultural commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel said would be “a new dawn for the curvy cucumber and the knobbly carrot”.
Currently around 20 per cent of produce is rejected throughout Europe because it fails to meet the existing regulations, which are regarded by critics as examples of Euro-madness.
Some of the produce that will no longer be controlled include apricots, aubergines, cucumbers, garlic, and water melons.
However, the regulations will remain in force for 10 items, which account for 75 per cent of the EU’s fruit and vegetable trade.
These products are apples, citrus fruit, kiwi fruit, lettuces, peaches and nectarines, pears, strawberries, sweet peppers, table grapes and tomatoes, which may only be sold misshaped if they are appropriately labelled.
Neil Parish, a Conservative MEP and chairman of the European Parliament’s agriculture committee, said: “To stop stores selling perfectly decent food during a food crisis is morally unjustifiable. Consumers care about the taste and quality of food, not how it looks.”