It is sound business sense to make sure that you are aware not only of the EU Regulations governing fresh fruit and vegetables, but also how contravening them can affect your trade.
A course at the HMI Training Centre can give you and your staff a better understanding both of EU marketing standards and of fruit and vegetables themselves. Learning more about the produce, defining what is good or bad quality will, in turn, benefit your customers, who will appreciate someone who really knows the answers. And that reflects well on your company. Learning more about what makes produce come up to, or fail to reach, EC Marketing Standards is the surest way to prevent offences being inadvertently committed.
RPA is an Agency of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Our responsibility is to enforce EU marketing standards in the United Kingdom, right through the distribution chain, from grower to retailer and covering both domestic and imported produce. These standards are an integral part of the Common Agricultural Policy and the UK Government is committed to their application.
Recognised marketing standards at every stage of the distribution chain throughout the EC benefit the trade through consistency of quality, regardless of external factors such as weather or economic trends.
Recruited into the RPA Inspectorate with formal horticulture qualifications and/or practical experience in the trade, the Inspectors undergo an initial six month intensive course at our Training and Development Centre. During this time, they gain the specialised knowledge and skills to enable them to enforce the EU marketing standards. They also attend continual refresher courses to keep them abreast of new developments and changes in the Regulations.
Originally established to train HMI Inspectors, courses in our specially designed centre are available to any organisation with an interest in the fresh fruit and vegetable trade. Supermarkets, universities, overseas inspectorates and grower organisations are all tsypical of bodies who have benefited from HMI Training.
Made to measure
If you are concerned with a specialised sector of the market, the HMI can arrange courses tailored specifically to your individual needs. These can take place using the facilities at Crewe or alternatively, on your own premises.
We have three demonstration rooms for practical classwork, with visual aids equipment and facilities for objective testing and research work. A fridge to keep the produce, which is used extensively throughout all training courses, in good condition. The largest part of training consists of practical assessment of 'live' crop material. However, this is comprehensively supported with a combination of lectures, and powerpoint.
Our Training Centre is staffed with inspectors who have a wide range of practical experience in the fresh produce industry and in training techniques.
The following crops currently covered by EU Regulations on Specific Marketing Standards are :-
Apples Citrus including Oranges lemons Mandarins Clementines satsumas and similar hybrids, Kiwi Fruit Grapes Nectarines Peaches Pears and Strawberries
Lettuce including Endives, Sweet pepper and Tomatoes
If you would like more information on types of Courses that we can offer - either standard or tailored to your needs - availability and costs contact our training team
Ian Hewett - 02085 733659
Sam Gray - 02088 484100
RPA Horticultral Inspections
Page published: 11 January 2013