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Danish apples

November 10th, 1992

Myth: Danish protesters have been saying that EC regulations forbid the marketing of a favourite orchard product, the Ingrid Marie apple variety.

Truth: Apples are classified, for the purpose of freedom of movement and consumer protection within the EC, into two categories: “small” apples, which have a minimum diameter of 55mm; and “large” apples, with a diameter exceeding 65mm. According to the apple variety, these sizes allow consumers to be sure that the apples they buy have reached the necessary state of ripeness/ripening. However, Danish apples of the Ingrid Marie variety fo not easily fit these classifications, so Danish producers have rebelled agains the EC rules.

In July 1989, the Danish fruit producers association, the Dansk Ehvervs frugtavl, classified the Inrid Marie as “large” apples. However, half of the harvest did not reach the required size. It could therefore not be marketed normally and had to be sold to the processing industry. To solve the problem, a new “medium-sized” category of apples could be introduced, but this would entail an increase in the management costs ofplacing the apples on the market. A different solution to the INgrid Marie probelm is envisaged. The Ingrid Marie could be classified under the category of “small” apples, giving the producers the resposibility of guaranteeing that the apples are ripe when they are marketed.

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