Unece standard ffv-34 concerning the marketing and commercial quality control of spinach

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concerning the marketing and commercial

quality control of

moving in international trade between and to

UNECE member countries


This standard applies to spinach of varieties (cultivars) grown from Spinacia oleracea L. to be supplied fresh to the consumer, spinach for industrial processing being excluded.


The purpose of the standard is to define the quality requirements of spinach in leaf or in heads at the export control stage, after preparation and packaging.

A. Minimum requirements

In all classes, subject to the special provisions for each class and the tolerances allowed, the spinach must be:

- sound; produce affected by rotting or deterioration such as to make it unfit for consumption is excluded

- clean, practically free of any visible foreign matter

- fresh in appearance

- practically free from pests

- practically free from damage caused by pests

- free of floral spikes

- free of any foreign smell and/or taste.
The washed spinach must be sufficiently drained.
In the case of spinach heads, the portion comprising the root must be cut close to the base of the outer leaves.
The development and condition of the spinach must be such as to enable them:
- to withstand transport and handling, and

- to arrive in satisfactory condition at the place of destination.

B. Classification

Spinach is classified in two classes defined below:

(i) Class I

Spinach in this class must be of good quality.
The leaves must be:

- normal in colour and appearance for the variety and time of picking

- free of damage caused by frost affecting appearance or edibility.
In the case of leaf spinach, the leaf stalk must not exceed 10 cm in length.

(ii) Class II

This class includes spinach which do not qualify for inclusion in Class I, but satisfy the minimum requirements specified above.


Sizing is not compulsory for spinach.


Tolerances in respect of quality shall be allowed in each package for produce not satisfying the requirements of the class indicated.

A. Quality Tolerances

(i) Class I

10 per cent by weight of spinach not satisfying the requirements of the class, but meeting those of Class II or, exceptionally, coming within the tolerances of that class.

(ii) Class II

10 per cent by weight of spinach not satisfying the requirements of the class nor the minimum requirements, with the exception of produce affected by rotting or any other deterioration rendering it unfit for consumption.
In addition, in the case of spinach heads, a tolerance of 10 per cent by weight of heads, the length of root attached to which may not exceed 1 cm from the base of the outer leaves, shall be allowed.


A. Uniformity

The contents of each package must be uniform and contain only leaf spinach or spinach heads of the same origin, variety and quality.

The visible part of the contents of the package must be representative of the entire contents.

B. Packaging

The spinach must be packed in such a way as to protect the produce properly.

The materials used inside the package must be new, clean and of a quality such as to avoid causing any external or internal damage to the produce. The use of materials, particularly of paper or stamps bearing trade specifications is allowed provided the printing or labelling has been done with non-toxic ink or glue.
Packages must be free of all foreign matter.


Each package1 must bear the following particulars, in letters grouped on the same side, legibly and indelibly marked, and visible from the outside:

A. Identification

Packer ) Name and address or

and/or ) officially issued or

Dispatcher ) accepted code mark. 2

B. Nature of produce

- "Leaf spinach" or "Spinach heads" if the contents of the package are not visible from the outside.

C. Origin of produce

- Country of origin and, optionally, district where grown or national, regional or local place name.

D. Commercial specifications

- Class.

E. Official control mark (optional)

Published 1962

Last revised 1988

1 Package units of produce prepacked for direct sale to the consumer shall not be subject to these marking provisions but shall conform to the national requirements. However, the markings referred to shall in any event be shown on the transport packaging containing such package units.

2 The national legislation of a number of countries requires the explicit declaration of the name and address. However, in the case where a code mark is used, the reference "packer and/or dispatcher (or equivalent abbreviations)" has to be indicated in close connection with the code mark.

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