Fresh calls for closer harmonisation in the produce sector found strong support at last week's EurepGAP conference in Prague.

It follows the recent launch of the International Federation of Produce Standards (The Grocer, 23 September, p56), which has yet to define its role, but apparently has similar aims.

A spokesman for the trade organisations and agencies Freshfel, Shaffe and ColeapACP said harmonised standards would cut costs and reward growers who invested in good agricultural practice.

EurepGAP, a voluntary organisation supported by multiple retailers, has established common standards for 50,000 producers in 75 countries. Its core remains fresh fruit and vegetables but its rules are increasingly being taken up in meat and dairy.

Chairman Nigel Garbutt said: "There has never been this speed and pressure to harmonise. We will do all we can to progress these issues within EurepGAP."