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India: State government seeks standardised packaging for apples

In order to adopt international packaging standards for apple marketing, the Himachal Pradesh government has decided to hold consultations with the Law Department to shift to a new regime of apple packaging.

“We had held wide discussions with the representatives of farmers and fruit growers. There is a complete consensus. A committee set up under the chairmanship of director (horticulture) Gurdev Singh has given its report to the government favouring the move,” said Horticulture Minister Narinder Bragta. “Now, as a follow-up, I have asked principal secretary (horticulture) V C Pharka and other officers of the department to hold discussions with the manufactures of the fruit cartons and also take opinion of the state’s law department on the issue. We will move towards adoption of a standard universal carton for boxing of fruit produce in a phased manner.”

The apple growers in the state have been using telescopic cartons of unspecified capacity of 20 to 30 kg. But international standards require a standard size box of 20 kg weight.

The apple produce in the state has been facing a stiff competition from the imported varieties, which come in standard size boxes. The telescopic boxes, adopted by the growers after switching from traditional wooden boxes in early nineties, do not always provide sufficient protection for the fruit.

“The telescopic cartons suffered inherent drawbacks in the transportation of fruit, such as heavy grading, the need for preparation of extra packing layers, blockage of air slots and low storage capacity, which drove up the price of apples and other fruits. The government will work for a consensus and also take a close look at the laws to see how practical it will be to switch over to standard size packaging,” Pharka said.

Source: www.indianexpress.com

Publication date: 2/28/2012


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