Exclusive FPC Member Updates

Sign up to become a member today! We provide year-round advice and support on all aspects of the fresh produce industry, along with exclusive networking forums, publications, field trips, group meetings, conferences and events.

Efficient border processes and procedures are critical to getting fresh fruit, vegetables and cut flowers to the marketplace. Reducing waste and damage of perishable goods during cross-border trade is a crucial aspect of daily business operations, but often UK importers face cumbersome processes and procedures that are outside direct control.

In order to have concrete outcomes, your support is needed in sharing your experiences through the survey. This first phase of the survey targets the flower as well as the fruit and vegetable sector exclusively.

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Identifying key constraints to trade in perishable goods

WRAP has led the development of  updated guidance on applying date labels and packaging choices for fresh fruit and vegetables.  This follows a review led by WRAP with input from FPC and some of its members.

Having a range of pack-sizes and formats including loose can help to reduce food waste. Offering fresh produce loose gives customers the opportunity to purchase the correct amount for their needs.  Where fresh produce is packaged, the absence of a Best Before date – on some items – can also help to reduce waste by encouraging people to use their judgement more.

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Updated guidance on applying date labels and packaging choices for fresh produce

The European Parliament blocked European Commission’s draft proposal with regard to the assessment of the impact of plant protection products on honeybees.

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European Parliament blocks proposal on assessment of impact of plant protection products on honeybees

Organic limes imported from Brazil should be treated to prevent the risk of citrus canker being introduced in the EU, in accordance with the European Commission´s Directive 2000/29 (point 16.2 of Annex IV).

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Imports of organic limes and treatment to prevent citrus canker

The EU Member States voted in favour on the Commission´s proposal amending Regulation (EC) 1881/2006 as regards maximum levels of perchlorate in certain foods.

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Contaminants - maximum levels for perchlorate in foods

FPC is hosting two Brexit briefings tailored for the UK fresh produce industry to help businesses prepare for the UK leaving the EU.

Find out more here

 

Be ready for Brexit – What every fresh produce business needs to know

The European Commission has notified the World Trade Organisation of the draft delegated act on supplementing Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards rules for the cases where and the conditions under which identity checks and physical checks on certain goods may be performed at control points and documentary checks may be performed at distance from border control posts, as well as regards rules for official controls of consignments of animals and goods in transit, transhipment and onward transportation through the Union.

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Commission notifies World Trade Organisation of draft rules affecting control points and transit of imports

Defra has received notification from the British Embassy in Japan that fresh celery exported from the Netherlands was found to be in violation of the Food Sanitation Act.

The regular checks carried out by the Japanese government found the amount of fludioxonil (a pesticide active substance) was over the maximum residue level (MRL) allowed.

As a result of this violation, future exports of UK origin fresh celery are also subject to intensified checks by the Japanese government. The frequency of the monitoring will be increased by 30% until no violation after one year or 60 cases of inspection.

For more information see: Implementation of ‘Imported Foods Monitoring Plan for FY 2019’.

If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch with Defra.

 

UK fresh celery subject to increased checks by Japanese authorities

The European Commission has published Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1715 laying down rules for the functioning of the information management system for official controls and its system components.

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Official Controls - EU information management system

The European Commission has published a list of priority pests, supplementing Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament and of the Council.  The list of priority pests will apply as of 14 December 2019.

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List of EU priority pests formally adopted

Emergency measures - prevention of the introduction and spread of the Tomato brown rugose fruit virus.

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Emergency measures - prevention of the introduction and spread of the Tomato brown rugose fruit virus

The European Commission has released the general rules regarding the usage of the Common Health Entry Document - CHED. The delegated act defines the conditions, how the document shall be accompanying the consignments entering the EU territory.

 

The Delegated Act will entry into force as of 14 December 2019 for pre-notification of EU imports in relation to the EU Plant Health Regulation.European Commission’s DG Santé has held a working group meeting dedicated to the integration of iRASFF and the administrative assistance system into the IMSOC (Information Management System for Official Controls).

 

IMSOC - rules for using the Common Health Entry Document - CHED

Defra is introducing changes to the plant health import inspection fees from 1 October 2019. 

Read more here.

 

Changes to plant health import inspection fees from 1 October 2019

Clare Linstead is joining Drew Reynolds  and Simon Trewin who were confirmed as new non-exec directors to the Board following the AGM in July .

Read more here.

 

FPC welcomes new Board members

New annexes contain updates on concessions from EU to Switzerland and vice versa for broad range of fruit and vegetable products with regard to tariffs, annual quantities as well as timings.

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Updated concessions on fruit and vegetable trade between Switzerland and the EU

Recently the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published the following reports:

Establishment of cumulative assessment groups of pesticides for their effects on the nervous system

Establishment of cumulative assessment groups of pesticides for their effects on the thyroid

As a follow-up, EFSA is carrying out a public consultation on its pilot assessments of the risks posed to humans by residues of multiple pesticides in food.

Interested parties have until 15 November to submit comments on two assessments: one considers chronic effects on the thyroid system and the other looks at acute effects on the nervous system.

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Cumulative risk assessment of pesticides & EFSA consultation

The Global Challenges Research Fund is a £1.5 billion UK government fund that supports cutting-edge research and innovation that addresses problems faced by developing countries.

It aims to encourage UK businesses to work with overseas partners to develop new innovations that could help to transform lives in countries that receive overseas development assistance.

Disadvantaged people in poorer economies can benefit from new and innovative products and services and from the markets and jobs created by them. UK businesses develop and test new products overseas and find new research partners and markets.

Funding comes from the UK’s Official Development Assistance and must meet its guidelines.

Projects must meet 1 or 2 of the 10 UN sustainable development goals.

The competition opened on 9 September and the deadline for applications is midday 13 November 2019.

Find out more about this competition and how to apply.

Transforming lives in developing countries - funding opportunities

On Monday 23 September at 11.30 am join Christine Tacon for 30 minutes, as she talks through her latest updates as the Groceries Code Adjudicator. 

Christine will go through the latest issues raised to the GCA from suppliers and answer your questions about the work of the GCA and the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.

To submit a question in advance, please email enquiries@groceriescode.gov.uk.  

You can register your interest online now.  

Groceries Code Adjudicator - webinar

FPC provides a regular update for members of data provided to us from APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) on current incidents of UK plant health interceptions on fresh fruit, vegetables and cut flowers.

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UK plant health interceptions

The European Food Safety Authority has published its review of the existing maximum residue levels for emamectin.

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Review of the existing maximum residue levels for emamectin 

In July 2019 the European Commission asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to provide statements on the available results of the human health assessment regarding chlorpyrifos (CHP) and chlorpyrifos-methyl (CHP-methyl). CHP & CHP-methyl are two broad spectrum insecticides that had been widely used around the world for decades.

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Chlorpyrifos & chlorpyrifos-methyl

The European Commission has published the latest plant health interceptions across EU Member States for July 2019.  The Europhyt report includes the following interceptions:

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EU plant health interceptions

The European Food Safety Authority has published the following statements

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EFSA’s conclusions on chlorpyrifos & chlorpyrifos-methyl

Following the Annual General Meeting held on 24 July 2019 FPC is pleased to confirm the re-election of those Board members who will stand for a further two years:

Veryan Bliss

Nigel Jenney

Martin Panter

Mike Parr

Jim Rogers.

FPC also welcomes Drew Reynolds  and Simon Trewin as new non-exec directors to the Board.

Alan Forrester continues as President for the year 2019/2020 with other elected members: Chris Hutchinson, Steven McGhee, and Richard Thompson.

FPC AGM – Board members confirmed

Clarification given on new import requirements.

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European Commission provides clarification on new import requirements

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on DRAFT Commission Implementing Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 889/2008, laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products with regard to organic production, labelling and control.

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EU organic production and labelling

Colombia, Cote d´Ivoire, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic have expressed their concerns at the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organisation with respect to the draft European Commission Regulation amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No. 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for imazalil in/on banana.

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WTO countries raise concerns on proposed EU changes to active substance - imazalil

EFSA has published a series of reports recently relating to active substances used on fresh produce.

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EFSA reviews

The European Union issued a notification to the World Trade Organisation with a draft Commission Regulation (EU) amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for dimethoate and omethoate in or on cherries.

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EU notification to WTO on dimethoate on cherries

On 8 July a discussion took place at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Council for Trade in Goods meeting on the implementation of non-tariff barriers on agricultural products imposed by the European Union. These are import tolerances for active substances which are not re-authorised in the EU, and applicable transition periods for Maximum Residue Levels.

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WTO discusses implementation of non-tariff barriers imposed by EU

The Food Standards Agency has updated recent results on its early warning system for food and feed.  The system is based primarily on analysis of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), with the FSA taking note of the frequency of notifications for particular hazards and commodities from third countries in relation to food safety. The FSA is now also including information about food and feed from the EU.

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Early warning system - potential high risk products

The European Commission has published the following Regulations...

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Active substances – changes to approvals

FPC members have the opportunity to access advice and information from qualified experts on food safety and hygiene regulation to support their business in England. 

 

A Primary Authority Partnership established between the Fresh Produce Consortium and South Holland District Council offers this service to FPC members.

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Consistent advice on food safety and hygiene regulation for FPC members

The European Food Safety Authority has publishd a revised version of its review of the existing MRLs for glyphosate.

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Review of the existing maximum residue levels for glyphosate

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1119/2014 sets temporary maximum residue levels for benzalkonium chloride (BAC) and didecyldimethylammonium chloride (DDAC) in fruit and vegetables (0.1 mg/kg). Temporary MRLs had been set for benzalkonium chloride (BAC) and didecyldimethylammonium chloride (DDAC) on the basis of the monitoring data available at that time.

 

The Regulation also says that the temporary MRLs shall be reviewed by 31 December 2019. Reassessment of data may lead to modification of MRLs.

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Consultation on review of temporary MRLs for BAC/DDAC

The EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed gave a favourable opinion to the proposed draft regulation amending Maximum Residue Levels which can be found here.

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Active substance prochloraz

On 22 October, the EU Member States voted against the renewal of the active substance thiacloprid. This decision will be formally adopted by the Commission in the coming weeks.

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Active substance thiacloprid

The Food Standards Agency’s early warning for food and feed system includes information from Public Health England on concerns raised regarding imports of fresh Betel leaves in September 2019:

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Early warning system for imported food and feed - Betel leaves

The European Commission and EU Member States are continuing discussions on cadmium levels in different food commodities, including fresh fruit and vegetables. Proposed levels under discussion...

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Cadmium levels in fresh produce

The European Commission has published a series of audit reports on controls in both EU Member States and third countries: Evaluation of the application of organic production standards and control measures by a recognised control body in the Dominican Republic and Evaluating official plant health controls in Malaysia for export of plants, plant products and plants intended for planting to the EU.

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EU audit reports

The European Commission is renewing the approval of the active substance Verticillium albo-atrum strain WCS850 as a low-risk substance.

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Active substance – renewal of EU approval

Update includes information on active substance Imazalil - lowering of maximum residue levels, as well as other actives securing extension of approval periods.

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Active substances - imazalil and other substances

EU WTO notification -  chlorpyrifos & chlorpyrifos-methyl.

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EU WTO notification -  chlorpyrifos & chlorpyrifos-methyl

A new Commission Implementing Decision 2019/1598 has been published extending the emergency measures to prevent the introduction into and spread within the EU of the harmful organism Spodoptera frugiperda (the fall armyworm). This pest originated in the Americas and has become a major pest in Africa and Asia.

The measures extend those already in place under Decision 2018/638 to include the regulation of plants other than live pollen, plant tissue cultures, seeds and grains, of Zea mays (maize and sweetcorn) originating in all third countries other than Switzerland.

From 21st October 2019, a phytosanitary certificate will be required and an advanced notification made on PEACH when importing this material from all third countries other than Switzerland.

 

Maize & sweetcorn - phytosanitary certificates required from all third countries

Managing Pesticide Residues in Fresh Produce training is aimed at Technical Managers who have daily contact with retailers in the UK.

 

The course on 5 November 2019 will be highly participative and will use practical examples to enable learning to be easily applied to real business situations.

Read more here.

 

Managing Pesticides in Fresh Produce

As of 1 October 2019 EU applications for the AEO status will have to be made electronically through the EU trader portal.

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EU Authorised Economic Operators - transition to online system

Recent changes to EU Maximum Residue Levels and notifications to WTO of forthcoming changes...

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Changes to EU Maximum Residue Levels and WTO notifications

The Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, is calling for input to better understand the interests of the UK in an enhanced trade agreement with Japan.

Since the new deal will be based on the EU-Japan EPA, the questions in the call for input are focused on how our stakeholders would want to improve the existing agreement. 

For more details see the consultation document.   

The call for input closes on 4 November. If you would like FPC to respond on your behalf please contact sian@freshproduce.org.uk

Enhancing the UK’s trade agreement with Japan

The European Food Safety Authority has published two reports in relation to fludioxonil: Evaluation of confirmatory data following the Article 12 MRL review for fludioxonil and Modification of the existing maximum residue levels for fludioxonil in rhubarbs.

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EFSA reviews MRLs for fludioxonil

FPC provides members with a regular summary spreadsheet of all notifications made by EU Member States, including information, border rejections and, on occasion, alerts.

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF)  provides food and feed control authorities with the means  to exchange information about measures taken in response to serious risks detected in relation to food or feed.

This exchange of information helps EU Member States to act more rapidly and in a coordinated manner in response to a health threat caused by food or feed. More in-depth analysis of RASFF performance is available in annual reports.

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EU RASFF notifications

HMRC is investing a further £16 million in its grant programme to fund employee training and IT improvements for customs intermediaries, traders and hauliers that make customs declarations. Businesses based in the UK or with a branch in the UK can apply for one or both grants.

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Apply for grants to help complete customs declarations

A Delegated Regulation has been drafted under the Official Controls Regulation (EU) 2017/625 establishing the rules for official controls of wood packaging material introduced into the Union whether or not in use in the transport of commodities.

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Wood Packaging Materials – draft regulation on potential pre-notification requirement

In accordance with Article 6 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005, the Federal Public Service Health, Food chain Safety and Environment of Belgium, submitted an application to modify the existing maximum residue levels (MRLs) for the active substance flonicamid in blueberries, cranberries, currants, gooseberries and strawberries.

The data submitted in support of the request were found to be sufficient to derive MRL proposals for the crops assessed. Adequate analytical methods for enforcement are available to control the residues of flonicamid in plant matrices under consideration at the validated limit of quantification (LOQ) of 0.01 mg/kg for each analyte included in the residue definition (combined LOQ of 0.03 mg/kg).

Based on the risk assessment results, EFSA concluded that the short‐term and long‐term intake of residues resulting from the use of flonicamid according to the reported agricultural practices is unlikely to present a risk to consumer health.

For more details see the EFSA report.

Modification of the existing maximum residue levels for flonicamid in strawberries and other berries

The European Commission has notified the Word Trade Organisation (WTO) with a Draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the non-renewal of the approval of the active substance thiacloprid, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009.

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EU notifies WTO of non-renewal of approval of thiacloprid

On 16-17 July a Standing Committee meeting on Pesticide Legislation took place. A number of votes were scheduled on draft Regulations:

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Standing Committee votes on draft pesticide regulations

IMSOC Information management system for official controls gets approval.

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IMSOC Information management system for official controls gets approval

The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) has published a report confirming the finding of citrus black spot in Tunisia.

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Citrus Black Spot in Tunisia

DG Sante has published recently a number of audit reports relating to fresh produce imports to the EU.

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DG Sante publishes audit reports

The European Commission has made available a list of documents summarising the status of third country importing partners when it comes to the required declarations on the different pests included under the new measures required to be in force under the revised Annexes I to V of Council Directive 2000/29 by 1 September 2019.

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EU Commission makes available state of play of country notifications of control measures

Active substances - changes of MRLs.

We provide year-round advice and support on all aspects of the fresh produce industry, along with exclusive networking forums, publications, field trips, group meetings, conferences and events.

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Active substances - changes of MRLs

With regard to the bilateral safeguard clause of Regulation 20/2013 and the stabilisation mechanism of the Association Agreement of the EU and Central America, the EU has reviewed banana imports from Guatemala.

 

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No additional import duties for bananas from Guatemala

Changes to the Annex I listing of 'high risk' products have been published.

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Changes to high risk product listing

FPC provides a regular update for members of data provided to us from APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) on current incidents of UK plant health interceptions on fresh fruit, vegetables and cut flowers.

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UK plant health interceptions

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