The purpose of marketing standards and requirements for fresh fruit and vegetables is to facilitate trade, particularly in the international but also in the national market. The requirements help to ensure that buyers are offered high quality products. The quality standards must be followed at all stages of trade.
All products must be of good quality: fresh, whole and clean. In addition, some products have special requirements which require quality classification according to mainly outer features.
Much of the requirements are focused on the information given about the products. For example, the country of origin must always be stated. For products with special requirements information about the packager, quality classification, and in some cases about the variety must also be provided.
Monitoring of compliance with marketing standards for fresh fruit and vegetables is conducted on imports and at random in the market. The aim of monitoring is to ensure that sold fruits and vegetables are of good quality and meet the requirements set out for the product.
Monitoring that fruits and vegetables are in compliance with the requirements is conducted in all phases of the trade. The Finnish Food Authority is responsible for the coordination of monitoring nationally, the exchange of information internationally, maintaining the necessary control records, inspections, and guidance of the monitoring carried out by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY-keskus).