In order to maintain the highest production standards and thus provide customers with high-quality fruit, the European Union introduced a set of special requirements concerning the commercial quality of apples. Thanks to these regulations, any non-compliant products, deemed low-quality, are not allowed to be introduced onto the market.
Pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on establishing a common organisation of agricultural product markets and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 922/72, (EEC) No 234/79, (EC) No 1037/2001 and (EC) No 1234/2007 (Dz. U. L 347 of 20.12.2013, p. 671 as amended), in regard to the fruit and vegetables sector and the processed fruit and vegetables sector, apples are subject to specific marketing standards.
These standards specify the quality requirements after fruit preparation and packaging processes, as well as requirements concerning fresh apples. They do not, however, cover apples intended for processing.
Until recently, in the industry-specific language, this class used to be referred to as extra. It includes the fruit of the highest quality. The determinant factors are shape, size and colour, which should be in-line with the typical characteristics for a particular variety. Stalks of the fruit belonging to this class must not be damaged and their flesh should be completely healthy.
Choosing the premium class means that we receive only carefully selected apples in a specific size range to guarantee that all fruit in the particular batch are nearly identical.
Apples belonging to this class should have the basic shape, size and colour characteristics of the particular variety as well. In addition, the fruits should be of good quality and appearance. The flesh must be perfectly sound, but some minor defects in regard to shape, development, colour and peel may be permitted, provided that they do not negatively affect the general appearance, quality or the manner in which the apples appear in the packaging.
The stalks may be missing, provided that the area in which they were situated is clean and the fruit’s peel is undamaged.
It includes all fruit that does not meet the requirements of the above two classes but still meets the minimal requirements. Defects in shape, development, colour and peel are allowed, provided that the fruit retains its characteristics in regard to quality and appearance.
Each packaging must contain a homogeneous batch of apples. This means that the fruit must be of the same origin, variety, quality and size (if sorted based on size) and with the same degree of ripeness. When ordering premium apples, the uniform fruit colour criterion also applies.
The above text may be replaced in the case of all packaging, except unit packaging, with an officially issued or approved packer or dispatcher code number, placed in close proximity to the term “packer” or “dispatcher” (or appropriate abbreviations) only in the case of pre-packed products, or with the name and address of a seller with a registered office within the EU, which must be placed in close proximity to the term “packed for” or an equivalent term. In this case, the label must also contain the code number of the packer or dispatcher. The seller must provide all information regarding the meaning of this code that the inspection services deem necessary.