Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards

 

Specialized Section on Standardization of

Dry and Dried Produce (Fruit)                

24-27 June 2003, Geneva

 

                                       PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR THE FIFTIETH SESSION

 

                                                  to be held in the Palais des Nations, Geneva,

                                           commencing at 10.00 hrs on Tuesday, 24 June 2003*

 

Note by the secretariat: Document numbers in square brackets refer to documents expected but not received by the time of the preparation of the agenda. They might be available late or at the meeting as room documents. As soon as they are received they will also be available on the home page of the agricultural standards unit.

 

*  The informal Working Groups have the possibility to meet on Monday 23 June 2003.  The secretariat will send out further information closer to the meeting.

 

1

Adoption of the agenda

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/1

English French Russian

2

Matters of interest arising since the last session

 

 

(a)

UNECE

-           Annual session

-           Committee for Trade, Industry and             Enterprise Development

-           Working Party on Agricultural                 Quality Standards

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/2

English French Russian

           

(b)

 

Other organizations:

-           Codex Alimentarius Commission and             Codex Committee Processed Food

-           European Union

-           ISO/TC34/SC14

-           OECD Scheme for the Application of -            International Standards for Fruit  and             Vegetables

-           World Trade Organization

 

 

3

Proposals to revise UNECE Standards

 

 

(a)

Almond Kernels

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/3 (Spain)

English French Russian

 

(b)

Inshell Almonds

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/4 (Spain)

English French Russian

 

(c)

Pistachio Kernels and Peeled Pistachio

Kernels

 

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/5 (Turkey)

English French Russian

 

(d)

Inshell Pistachio Nuts

 

 

Comments on Inshell Pistachio Nuts

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/6 (Turkey)

English French Russian

 

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/7 (Spain)

English French Russian

 

(e)

Prunes

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/8 (Secretariat)

English French Russian

 

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/9 (France)

English French Russian

4

Revision of the standard layout for Dry and Dried Produce

 

 

(a)

Annex I: Determination of the moisture

content for Dried Fruit

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/10 (Spain)

English French Russian

 

(b)

Annex III: Terms recommended and

definition of defects

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/11 (Spain)

English French Russian

 

(c)

Standard layout (Comments from the secretariat)

[TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/12 (Secretariat)]

5

Dictionary of Defects

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/13 (Italy)

English French Russian

6

Elaboration of a sampling plan

 

[TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/14 (United States and United Kingdom)]

7

UNECE General conditions of sale for dry (shelled and unshelled and dried fruit)

ECE/AGRI/41 (Secretariat)

8

UNECE Quality Standards and Organic Produce

 

9

Cooperation with the OECD Scheme

 

10

Publications

 

 

(a)

Compendium of standards

 

 

(b)

Promotional booklet on the work and achievements of the Working Party

 

11

Application of UNECE Standards

 

12

Workshops, seminars, training courses and other activities concerning capacity building for the application of quality standards

 

 

(a)

Report on presentations given by the secretariat in Russia and South Africa.

 

 

(b)

Information about other capacity building activities

 

13

Other business

 

14

Future work and meetings

 

 

(a)

Date and place of the next session

 

 

(b)

Future work

 

 

(c)

Preparation of the next session of the Working Party

 

15

Election of officers

 

16

Adoption of the report

 

 

PROPOSED TIME TABLE

 

Monday

23 June

10.00 – 13.00

Working Groups:

-           Pistachios (Turkey (rapporteur), Germany, Italy,             Spain, United Kingdom and the United States)

-           Color Chart (France, United States, OECD and UNECE             Secretariats)

 

15.00 – 18.00

Working Groups: Standard layout, Sampling Plan

 

Tuesday

24 June

10.00 – 13.00

Items 1: Adoption of the agenda,

Item 2: Matters of interest

Item 3 (a): Almond Kernels

15.00 –  18.00

3 (a) (cont’d)

Item 3 (b): Inshell Almonds

Item 3 (c): Pistachio Kernels

Wednesday 25 June

10.00 – 13.00

Item 3 (c) (cont’d) 

Item 3 (d): Inshell Pistachios

Item 3 (e): Dried Prunes

15.00 – 18.00

Item 4 (a): Annex I (Standard Layout)

Item 4 (b): Annex III (Standard Layout)

Thursday

26 June

10.00 – 13.00

Item 4 (c) Standard Layout (Comments from the secretariat)

Item 5: Dictionary

Item 6: Sampling Plan

Item 7: General Conditions for Sale

Item 8: Organic Produce

Afternoon

Free

Friday

27 June

10.00 – 13.00

Item 9: Cooperation with the OECD Scheme

Item 10: Publications

Item 11: Application of UNECE Standards

Item 12: Workshops

Item 13: Other business

Item 14: Future work

Item 15: Election of officers

Item 16: Adoption of the report

Afternoon

Free

 

 

Explanatory notes

 

Item 1:             Adoption of the agenda

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/1

 

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

 

Item 2:             Matters of interest arising since the last session

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/2

 

Delegations will be informed about the work of interest that has taken place in different groups within and outside UNECE.

 

Item 3:             Proposals to revise UNECE Standards  

 

(a)        Almond Kernels          

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/3 (Spain)

 

Main points or changes for discussion:

-           blanched (include or not into the standard)

-           sweet (do we need to specify this adjective?)

-           sizing (a lot of changes on wording, but most of them were agreed at the last session)

-           sizing marking (for sizing by count per ounce or 100 g, no obligation to transfer this sizing to mm)

 

The French version has been completely retranslated and corrected.

 

(b)        Inshell Almonds          

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/4 (Spain)

 

Main points for discussion:

-           definition of types (soft, semi-soft, hard?)

-           sizing (inclusion of minimum size, around 18 mm of diameter, yes or not ?)

-           sizing marking (for sizing by count per ounce or 100 g, no obligation to transfer this sizing to mm)

-           tolerances  (by count or by weight?)

-           tolerances (confirmation of values puts into square brackets)

 

The French version has been completely retranslated and corrected.

 

(c)        Pistachio Kernels and Peeled Pistachio Kernels

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/5 (Turkey)

 

The rapporteur (Turkey) has prepared a new proposal. The main open points from the last session include: quality classification (new class I for peeled pistachio kernels), colour type, moisture content and quality tolerances (new mechanical production methods).

 


(d)        Inshell Pistachio Nuts

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/6 (Turkey)

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/7 (Spain)

 

The rapporteur (Turkey) has prepared a new proposal. Further comments are available from Spain. The main open points for discussion include sizing (distinction between round/long kernels) and tolerances.

 

(e)        Prunes

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/8 (Secretariat)

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/9 (France)

 

Following the discussions at the last session the secretariat reproduces in 2003/8 the text of the standard in force, including some corrections from 1993, which had been mentioned in document AGRI/WP.1/GE.2/R.85). The Specialized Section is invited to check which parts of the text need to be aligned with the standard layout.

 

France presents a new proposal in 2003/9 based on informal document 3 from the last session, which the Specialized Section had agreed in principle but while it was agreed that it might be necessary for some standards to contain special provisions, the present revision of the annex on determination of the moisture content for all dried fruit should be completed before deciding changes to the annexes of individual standards.

 

Item 4:             Revision of the standard layout for Dry and Dried Produce   

 

(a)        Annex I: Determination of the moisture content for Dried Fruit    

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/10 (Spain)

 

At the last session it was concluded that there is still work to be done concerning the rapid method because different methods might be required for different produce. The rapporteur (Spain) has prepared a new document based on comments received from other delegations.

 

(b)        Annex III: Terms recommended and definition of defects

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/11 (Spain)

 

The rapporteur (Spain) included the comments made at the last session in document 2003/11. Progress was made in the review of the annex at the last session but due to lack of time it could not be completed. It is hoped that the revision can be finalised at this session.

 

(c)        Standard layout (comments from the secretariat)

[TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/12 (Secretariat)]

 

In 2003/12 the secretariat raises questions concerning the standard layout (applicability, numbering of the annexes).

 


Item 5:             Dictionary of Defects   

TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/13 (Italy)

 

The delegation of Italy has completed the dictionary by adding the terms in Turkish. The Russian terms will be added by the translation services of the United Nations. Once agreed by the Specialized Section the dictionary will be published on the UNECE web site. At the last session it was mentioned that the terms used in the dictionary and annex III to the standard layout should be checked for consistency.

 

Item 6:             Elaboration of a sampling plan

[TRADE/WP.7/GE.2/2003/14 (United States and United Kingdom)]

 

The rapporteur (United States) will inform the meeting about the work done on this issue in cooperation with the United Kingdom.

 

Item 7:             UNECE General conditions of sale for dry (shelled and unshelled and dried fruit)        

ECE/AGRI/41 (Secretariat)

 

The secretariat would like to raise the question if this document (from 1979) is still useful or if it should be deleted from the list of publications.

 

Item 8:             UNECE Quality Standards and Organic Produce          

 

The topic was discussed at the last session of the working party. It was decided that the secretariat should send out a call to all participants of the Specialized Section on Standardization of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables to find out where the standards UNECE had set for the market resulted in problems for organic produce. It was also decided that the secretariat should get in touch with other organizations who might give input on this question such as ITC, UNCTAD, IFOAM, as well as consumer organizations.

 

The secretariat will report on progress made on this issue.

 

Item 9:             Cooperation with the OECD Scheme   

 

The secretariat is of the opinion that the cooperation with the OECD Scheme functions very well and might still be closer for the benefit of international trade. At the moment the OECD Scheme adopts UNECE Standards and creates explanatory brochures based on the standards, which are essential for the harmonized application of the standards. The questions and comments received by the secretariat from users of the standards (e.g. Russia, Ukraine) show that the availability of an official international interpretation of the standards is considered as very important.

 

UNECE has in the past adopted OECD texts (e.g. exchange of information on non-conformity cases). The secretariat proposes to hold a first discussion in the Specialized Section if it could be considered to adopt OECD brochures as official interpretations of UNECE Standards, to create a Russian version and promote the brochures in cooperation with OECD through its network.

 


Item 10:           Publications     

 

(a)        Compendium of standards          

(b)        Promotional booklet on the work and achievements of the Working Party    

 

Item 11:           Application of UNECE Standards          

 

The specialized section will be informed on the status of application of UNECE standards.

 

Item 12:           Workshops, seminars, training courses and other activities concerning capacity building for the application of quality standards

           

(a)        Report on presentations given by the secretariat in Russia and South Africa.

(b)        Information about other capacity building activities           

 

Item 13:           Other business

 

Item 14:           Future work and meetings      

 

(a)        Date and place of the next session           

 

The next session of the Specialized Section has been tentatively planned to take place from 14 to 18 June 2004 in Geneva (deadline for documents: 5 April 2004). Working Groups will have the opportunity to meet on 13 June 2004.

 

(b)        Future work     

 

A draft agenda for the next meeting including the tasks to be accomplished will be annexed to the report of the Specialized Section.

 

(c)        Preparation of the next session of the Working Party

 

Item 15:           Election of officers      

 

According to the Commission's Rules of Procedure and established practice, the Meeting is expected to elect

a Chair and a vice-chair. At the last session the Specialized Section elected Mr. B. Cauquil (France) as Chairman and Mr. M. Sciannella (Italy) as its Vice-Chairman.

 

Item 16:           Adoption of the report 

 

The Specialized Section will adopt the report of its fiftieth 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

UNECE 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 18 June 2003 by fax (+ 00 41 22 917 0629).

 

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, where your badge will be ready for collection.