The Dutch Fruit and Vegetables Quality Inspection system is rather unique in that; it involves the complete integration of phytosanitary and quality inspection systems; and, uses an advanced electronic data management system.
The OECD Peer Review of the Fruit and Vegetables Quality Inspection System in the Netherlands was released on 11 June 2012. The Peer Review is part of a series of reviews of national fruit and vegetables systems undertaken within the programme of work of the OECD Fruit and Vegetables Scheme. The main objective of the Scheme is to facilitate international trade through the harmonisation of the implementation and, interpretation of marketing standards. Moreover, it provides a complete, internationally harmonised export quality inspection system for member countries, as well as guidelines and explanatory brochures of international quality standards for fruit and vegetables.
The OECD Peer Review was carried out by the OECD Secretariat, drawing on member country expertise within the Scheme, in close co-operation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation in the Netherlands and the Kwaliteits-Controle-Bureau (KCB). The Peer Review is the 5th in a series of Reviews carried out by the OECD Scheme.
The implementation of the OECD/EU fruit and vegetables quality inspection system in the Netherlands is pragmatic and cost efficient, while at the same time maintaining high quality standards. The KCB has the structure and expertise to implement phytosanitary and quality inspection in a transparent and effective integrated system. Moreover, the Netherlands has established, and operates a complex online electronic data management system. The integrated approach and the online administration enhance the efficiency of the inspection system and lowers costs for companies, as well as for the inspection authorities. The Dutch approach to the inspection system could serve as a useful model for other countries.
The Peer Review highlights the efficiency of concentrating the fruit and vegetables inspection, at all stages of marketing, including the retail stage, in a single organisation, as it is important to ensure consistency in the handling of the products at all stages of the supply chain.
This Peer Review and other publications of the Scheme are available on the official OECD website: www.oecd.org/tad/fv.