Fresh standards for fruit and vegetables were launched at the EurepGap conference in Madrid last week.

The latest version of the standard harmonisation body’s protocol for the sector brings higher levels in all aspects of the industry, including health and safety, traceability and worker welfare.

The revision took 18 months to produce and is now available to producers, although compliance is not obligatory until the end of 2005 for producers who are already EurepGap certified.

The conference also saw the launch of a new protocol, backed by the UK multiples, to encourage horticulture and ornamentals. The retailers are keen to get better control systems at producer level to enhance traceability.