Performing analyses on the produce as a form of self-check has become part of the routine. But not all laboratories provide the service of communicating to clients whether their products would be accepted by supermarket chains in Germany, Austria, Holland or Great Britain, whose parameters are often stricter than those set out by law. Sicural is among them and keeps constantly updated in order to provide an overview of what are the thresholds requested by the various supermarkets.
“Foreign retailers often establish stricter acceptability conditions than those set out by the EU, e.g. the percentage of MLR or ARfD when it comes to both the single active principle and the sum of those detected. This is why we always keep up to date and provide clients with both the results of their analyses and information about whether their products would be accepted in supermarkets," report Silvia Zuccherelli, Maverik Bezzi and Giusy Riciputi from Sicural.
German chains are particularly strict. "Our system features a continuously-updated ARfD processing program, as some limits can vary depending on the season and they are often different for each product. This is why we need to cross-reference data to give a 'go ahead' for the sale depending on the destination."
Some retailers also have a black list of the active principles they do not want used. Knowing this information can be key to becoming suppliers for a specific client.
"Parameters are increasingly restrictive, but it does not mean active principles cannot be used or that things should be left to chance. Working well in the fields and working with a competent laboratory means being prepared to deal with the requests of European retail chains."