EC marketing standards for fresh fruit, vegetables, salad crops, flowers and bulbs, throughout England and Wales are enforced by the Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate. Inspectors are responsible for the enforcement of control measures and, where necessary, giving advice at points throughout the distribution chain, including at retail level. Inspections are targeted towards areas where there is judged to be an increased risk of non compliance and traders are prosecuted where a satisfactory level of compliance is not achieved by other means. However, growers and packers of EU produce who regularly comply with the rules are encouraged to apply for Exempt Trader Status, resulting in fewer controls being carried out.
The evaluation should assess the economic rationale for the EC horticulture and eggs standards which the inspectorates seek to enforce as well as the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the inspectorates themselves. The evaluation should also help to inform future development of policy in an EU context.