UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Activities

Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards

 

Forty-seventh session of the
Specialized Section on Co-ordination of Standardization of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

 

Forty-seventh Session, 15-18 May 2001
PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR THE FORTY-SEVENTH SESSION
to be held in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, SALLE XI commencing at 10.00 hrs on Tuesday, 15 May 2001*

 

* On Monday 14 May 2001 starting at 10.00 hrs the informal Working Groups will have the opportunity to meet (without interpretation) in SALLE F-3. These meetings are mainly intended for the members of the working groups as indicated in the provisional timetable. Other countries wishing to attend these meetings should inform the Secretariat before 9 April so that an appropriately sized room can be booked.

NOTE by the secretariat: Document numbers in square brackets have been reserved for papers not yet received by the secretariat at the time of the preparation of the agenda. They will translated and distributed (if received until 10 weeks before the session) or distributed in the original language only (if received until 6 weeks before the session). If received later they will be distributed at the session as informal papers. They will also be available on the homepage if sent in electronic format. Document numbers in italics signify background documents.

 

Not all language versions are available for all documents. Some links will work only when the translations become available.

 

 

1. Adoption of the agenda TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/1
English French Russian
2. Matters of interest since the forty-sixth session TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/2
English French Russian
3. Proposals to revise UN/ECE standards  
  (a) Annonas TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/3 (Spain)
English only
  (b) Apples and Pears  
  Text of the UN/ECE Standard TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.1
English French Russian
  Proposal TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/4 (Belgium, South Africa)
English French Russian
  Draft UN/ECE Standard for Apples TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/4/Add.1 (New Zealand)
English only
  Report of the Working Group on Apples and Pears TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/4/Add.2 (New Zealand)
English only
  Draft UN/ECE Standard for Pears TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/4/Add.3 (New Zealand)
English only
  (c) Avocados (maturity requirements) TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.15
English French Russian
  Proposal TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/5 (European Community)
English French Russian
  (d) Beans TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.2
English French Russian
  Proposal TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/6(European Community)
English French Russian
  (e) Citrus Fruit Maturity requirements TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.3
English French Russian
     
  (f) Report of the Working Group on Kiwifruit TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/8 (New Zealand)
English only
  (g) Lettuce TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/9 (European Community)
English French Russian
  (h) Onions TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/10 (European Community)
English French Russian
  (i) Peaches and Nectarines (maturity requirements)  
  (j) Peas TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.5
English French Russian
  Proposal TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/12 (European Community)
English French Russian
  (k) Peppers TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/13 (European Community)
English French Russian
  (l) Table grapes TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.6
English French Russian
  Proposal TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/14 (South Africa)
English French Russian

TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/14/Add.1 (European Community)
English French Russian
4. Consideration to elaborate a UN/ECE Draft Standard for Pineapples TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2000/20 (COLEACP)
English French Russian
  Comments on the draft standard TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/15 (South Africa)
English French Russian
  Comments on the draft standard TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/15/Add.1 (COLEACP)
English only
  Revised draft standard TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/15/Add.2 (COLEACP)
English French
5. Proposal to create an internationally recognized list of trade descriptions and classification codes for fruits and vegetables  
6. Issues concerning trade marks and names of varieties TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/17 (Secretariat)
English French Russian
7. Establishment of a list of countries using code marks TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.22
English French Russian
8. Exchange of information on non-conformity cases TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.21
English French Russian
9. Review of the Guide on Implementation of Quality Control AGRI/WP.1/R.190
10. E-mail and web site addresses in UN/ECE Standards (see annotations)
11. Participation to the Specialized Section  
12. Acceptances TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/18
English French Russian
13. Matters of interest arising from the work of  
  (a) Codex Alimentarius Commission  
  (b) European Union  
  (c) OECD Scheme  
14. Operational activities  
15. Other business  
16. Preparation of the next session  
  (a) Future work  
  (b) Date and place  
  (c) Preparation of the 57th session of the Working Party on Standardization of Perishable Produce and Quality Development  
17. Election of officers  
18. Adoption of the report TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/19
English French Russian

 

Proposed timetable

 

Monday, 14 May 10.00 - 13.00 Informal Working Groups (English only):
Apples and Pears: Belgium, Chile, Germany, New Zealand, United Kingdom
Kiwifruit: Chile, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, United States
    15.00 - 18.00 Informal Working Groups (English only):
Peaches and Nectarines: Chile, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden
Pineapples: Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, South Africa, Spain, France, Portugal, COLEACP
Tuesday, 15 May 10.00 - 13.00 Items 1 - 3
15.00 - 18.00 Item 3
Wednesday, 16 May 10.00 - 13.00 Item 3
15.00 - 18.00 Item 3 - 6
Thursday, 17 May 10.00 - 13.00 Items 7 - 17
Friday, 18 May 10.00 - 13.00 Item 18

 

ANNOTATIONS

Item 1 Adoption of the agenda

According to the Commission's Rules of Procedure, the first item on the provisional agenda is the adoption of the agenda.

Item 2 Matters of interest arising since the forty-sixth session

Document TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/2 sums up the relevant outcome of fourth session of the Committee for Trade, Industry and Enterprise Development and the fifty-sixth session of the Working Party on Standardization of Perishable Produce and Quality Development.

Item 3 Proposals to revise UN/ECE standards

(a) Annonas

Document for this session: TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/3 (Spain)

A document proposing amendments to this standard is expected from Spain.

(b) Apples and Pears (list of varieties)

Standard in force: TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.1

Documents for this session: TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/4
TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/4/Add.1 (New Zealand)
TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/4/Add.2 (New Zealand)
TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/4/Add.3 (New Zealand)

The revised UN/ECE Standard for Apples and Pears was adopted at the last session of the Working Party. The list of varieties was attached to the standard in the new format with the existing contents. For this session proposals from the working group are expected concerning the list of varieties and the splitting of the standard into one for apples and one for pears. The working group is also expected to give recommendations on the proposal made by the Ukraine at the last session (contained in TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2000/INF.6).

(c) Avocados (maturity requirements)

Recommendation in trial period: TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.15

Document for this session: TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/5 (European Community)

The recommendation was adopted by the Working Party for a two-year trial period. At the last session it was stressed by several delegations that a minimum level of maturity achieved at harvest should be defined in the standard to ensure acceptable ripening, but maturity requirements should not be used to distinguish quality classes. A proposal on this question was received by the European Community.

(d) Beans

Standard in force: TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.2

Discussion at the Working Party: TRADE/WP.7/2000/11, para. 18

Document for this session: TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/6 (European Community)

At the last session of the Working Party the delegation of the Netherlands said that its industry had indicated problems with the provisions concerning rust spots in Class II. It felt that "practically free" was open to interpretations and it could happen that the Netherlands would not be able to deliver Beans at certain periods because of the rust spots caused by unfavourable weather conditions. It said it did not want to stop the standard now but would like to come back to that question at the next session of the Specialized Section. A proposal on this question was received by the European Community.

(e) Citrus Fruit (maturity requirements)

Standard in force: TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.3

Document for this session: [TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/7 (Spain)]

The delegation of Spain informed the last session a that research project had been started in two centres to establish the relationship between the parameters min/max acid content and min/max sugar content and a panel test would be held in France, Germany and Spain. The delegation of Spain will report about any preliminary results of this project.

(f) Kiwifruit

Document for this session: TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/8 (New Zealand)

The rapporteur (New Zealand) reported at the last session that little progress had been made because there had been no session of IKO since the last session of the Specialized Section. The working group had considered the proposal received from the European Community (see TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2000/11) and decided to include it in the consultations with the IKO. A session of the IKO was held in August, where the questions raised in the working group were discussed. The working group is expected to present proposals at this session.

(g) Lettuce

Document for this session: TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/9 (European Community)

The document contains a proposal from the European Community for amendments to the standard.

(h) Onions

Document for this session: TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/10 (European Community)

The document contains a proposal from the European Community for amendments to the standard.

(i) Peaches and Nectarines (maturity requirements)

Document for this session: [TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/11 (Chile, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden)]

At the last session it was decided to align the standard with the standard layout but to integrate this change into a more comprehensive proposal including maturity requirements and size "D". A working group (Chile, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, South Africa and Sweden) was formed which is expected to present a proposal at this session.The working group is also expected to give recommendations on the proposal made by the Ukraine at the last session (contained in TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2000/14).

(j) Peas

Standard in force: TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.5

Document for this session: [TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/12 (European Community)]

The document contains a proposal from the European Community raising the problem of "trimmed" peas and a possible contradiction to the minimum requirement "intact".

(k) Peppers

Document for this session: TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/13 (European Community)

The document contains a proposal from the European Community for amendments to the standard.

(l) Table Grapes (maturity requirements, bunch weight)

Standard in force: TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.6

Documents for this session: TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/14 ( South Africa)

TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/14/Add.1 (European Community)

The revised UN/ECE Standard for Table Grapes was adopted at the last session of the Working Party. At the last session of the Specialized Section a working group (Chile, Greece, South Africa) was formed to prepare a proposal on brix values and varieties. The present documents have been received from South Africa on bunch weight and from the European Community on brix values and varieties.

Item 4 Proposal for a draft UN/ECE Standard for Pineapples

Document at the last session: TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2000/20 (COLEACP)

Documents for this session: TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/15 (South Africa)

TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/15/Add.1 (COLEACP)

TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/15/Add.2 (COLEACP)

Comments on the document distributed at the last session have been received from South Africa.

Item 5 Proposal to create an internationally recognized list of trade descriptions and classification codes for fruits and vegetables.

Documents for this session: TRADE/WP.7/2000/11, paras. 71-76

[TRADE/GE.1/WP.7/2001/16 (EAN International)]

EAN International is an organization operating world-wide in the area of electronic commerce (supply chain management, article numbering, bar codes, modelling) and is very active in the Specialized Section on Standardization of Meat (e.g. co-hosting the meeting of rapporteurs in Brazil). EAN International has indicated to the secretariat that they wish to raise the issue of generic coding for fruits and vegetables.

In addition to company product-specific codes, both national and quasi-international classification code lists are currently linked to EAN/UCC standards. As a result, EAN members are often confused by the variety of codes used, and dissatisfied with the lack of "internationally recognized" trade descriptions and classification codes for fruits and vegetables.

It is suggested to negotiate a code list for fruits and vegetables under the auspices of the UN/ECE.

During the discussion at the Working Party several delegations expressed their interest in this matter but stated that they would like to get further information before coming to any decision. The Chairman stated that, in his opinion, the following steps would have to be taken:

- evaluate current practice (codes, trade descriptions)

- get clear information about the status of the codes used

- explore possibilities of international harmonization of these codes

A document on this issue is expected from EAN International

Item 6 Issues concerning trade marks and names of varieties

Documents for this session: TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/17

This document sums up the information provided to the Legal Counsel by the secretariat and the reply received.

Item 7 Establishment of a list of countries using code marks

Documents for this session: TRADE/WP.7/2000/11, paras.84-85

TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.22

The issue was discussed at the last session of the Working Party. South Africa proposed the preparation of a list of countries not accepting code marks and requiring the full name and address of the packer or dispatcher.

The Working Party accepted this proposal. It requested the secretariat to prepare a small questionnaire as addendum 22 to this report to request this information from all countries and to publish the results on the home page. The secretariat will report on any preliminary results.

Item 8 Exchange of information on non-conformity cases

Documents for this session: TRADE/WP.7/2000/11, paras.77-81

TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.21

At its last session the Working Party adopted the relevant OECD document. It was published as TRADE/WP.7/2000/11/Add.21. It was mentioned that a list of contact points for quality control would be useful for the application of this document. The Working Party decided to request the specialized sections GE.1 and GE.2 to establish such lists.

At the last session the secretariat informed the group that within the Trade Facilitation Section of the UN/ECE Trade Division, the UN Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport Standard (UN/EDIFACT) had been developed, a worldwide standard for the electronic exchange of trade data through messages. Cooperation between the two groups to create a new UN/EDIFACT message for the exchange of information on non-conformity cases was suggested. The secretariat will report on any developments.

Item 9 Review of the Guide on Implementation of Quality Control

Documents for this session: TRADE/WP.7/2000/11, paras. 82-83

AGRI/WP.1/R.190

The OECD Guide on Implementation of Quality Control was adopted in 1990. At the last session of the Working Party proposed to publish the Guide on Implementation of Quality Control on the home page. As many delegations were not familiar with this document, it was decided to request the GE.1 Specialized Section to review it and make recommendations to the Working Party as to its use.

Item 10 E-mail and web site addresses in UN/ECE Standards

The Secretariat received a letter from South Africa stating the following:

The UN/ECE standards require that the name and address or officially issued or accepted code mark be indicated on cartons to identify the packer and/or dispatcher. Furthermore, the national requirements of some EU member countries require the explicit declaration of the name and address of the packer and/or dispatcher.

Since the advent of the internet and e-mail more and more companies are making use of websites to promote themselves and e-mail to correspond with others and to do business. By visiting the website of producers/exporters a wealth of information can be accessed directly and instantly, including postal and physical addresses. In the light of the aforementioned we would like to propose to the Specialized Section that website and e-mail addresses also officially be recognized in addition to conventional addresses in this regard.

Item 11 Participation to the Specialized Section

At the last session it was agreed that the Chairman, assisted by the secretariat, write a letter encouraging participation especially to international associations of large distributors. The Specialized Section will be informed on any developments.

Item 12 Acceptances

Document for this session: TRADE/WP.7/GE.1/2001/18

The secretariat has prepared a consolidated document listing by standard the acceptances of countries. This information can also be found on the web site of the agricultural standards unit at:

www.unece.org/trade/agr under the menu item GENERAL.

Item 13 Matters of interest arising from the work of

(a) Codex Alimentarius Commission

(b) European Union

(c) OECD Scheme

Delegations of these organizations have been invited to report on activities of relevance to the Specialized Section.

Item 14 Operational activities

Delegations are invited to report on recent activities and any plans for the future.

Item 15 Other business

Item 16 Preparation of the next session

(a) Future work

Delegations are invited to make proposals for future work of the Specialized Section.

(b) Date and place of the next session

(c) Preparation of the 57th session of the Working Party on Standardization of Perishable Produce and Quality Development

Delegations are invited to mention any item that should be brought to the attention of the Working Party.

Item 17 Election of officers

According to the Commission's Rules of Procedure and established practice, the Specialized Section is expected to elect a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson. At its forty-sixth session the Group elected Mr. D. Priester (United States) as its Chairperson and Ms. U. Bickelmann (Germany) as its Vice-Chairperson.

Item 18 Adoption of the report

The Working Party will adopt the report of its forty-seventh session on the basis of a draft prepared by the secretariat.

NOTE BY THE SECRETARIAT:

Contributions should be sent to the secretariat either on diskette by mail to :

Food Standards Officer, UN/ECE Trade Division
Palais des Nations, Office 432
1211 Geneva 10
Tel: (41) 22 917 2450 Fax: (41) 22 917 0041
or by e-mail to: agristandards@unece.org

Meeting documentation will be available on our homepage:

http://www.unece.org/trade/agr/welcome.htm

In accordance with security instructions, participants should complete the Conference Registration form overleaf and return it to the secretariat before 10 May 2001 by fax (+ 00 41 22 917 0041).

In Geneva, before entering the Palais des Nations, please proceed with the original of your form to the Security Section situated at the Villa les Feuillantines (as indicated on the attached map), where your badge will be ready for collection.