Despite having a fruit and veg box from abel & cole, you don't always get all you need. And I seem to need a lot of oranges at the minute, so I bought some organic beauties. It was only then that i saw they were Class II quality. I've never paid much attention to this before (my dad moaning about the quality of the veg in his supermarket aside), but i thought I'd have a look as to what this meant.
On the Defra website, here it states that all citrus fruit must meet minimum requirements (too many to mention here). For a Class I citrus fruit it has to meet other standards as well:
Citrus fruit in this class must be of good quality. They must be characteristic of the variety and/or commercial type.
The following slight defects, however, may be allowed provided these do not affect the general appearance of the produce, the quality, the keeping quality and presentation in the package:
- slight defect in shape
- slight defect in colouring
- slight skin defects occurring during the formation of the fruit, such as silver scurfs, russets, etc
Now for the point of this post. The oranges I bought look lovely, proper oranges, but for these to be Class II, they must have been considered more defective than 'slight'. Is this a problem that all organic produce has to face? And if so, will it ever change? Does Class II mean the produce is worth less to the grower, as I imagine a lott of it doesn't come out looking perfect? If so, is it inhibiting farmers growing organic produce due to reduced profit? Anyone know?