USDA Relaxes Handling Requirements for Imported Table Grapes
The Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has issued a final rule that, effective April 1, 2016, will partially relax the handling requirements prescribed under the California table grape marketing order and the table grape import regulation. Specifically, this rule relaxes the one-quarter pound minimum bunch size requirement in the order’s regulations and the import regulation for U.S. No. 1 Table grade grapes packed in consumer packages known as clamshells weighing five pounds or less. Under this revision, up to 20 percent of the weight of such containers may consist of single grape clusters weighing less than one-quarter pound but consisting of at least five berries each. AMS states that this change provides California desert grape handlers and importers with the flexibility to respond to ongoing marketing opportunities to meet consumer needs.