At Marsh Harrier we understand the importance of the grading of fruits (and other produce). This process enables farmers/producers to a gain a higher price for their yield. Further, it supports optimal packaging and handling too, and a significant improvement in the overall marketing strategy. Properly graded fruits (on the basis of size and shape) gain favor and customers in the international market as well. Fruits (and vegetables) are usually graded based according to federal, state, and international standards. While a country might follow its specific grading standards to suit market requirements, for the global market however, fruits and vegetables are graded as: Extra Class, Class I, and Class II. These classes are assigned according to ideal size or weight, shape, color, texture, maturity stage, and the presence of physical defects or disease.
Fruits that have the ideal shape and color, are free from internal defects, and with only 5% of errors, are placed in the Extra Class grade. The uniformity of the produce based on size, color, and internal condition form the basis of pre-packing and packaging materials, with labels on the packaging that indicate the quality of the produce.
The standards for this grade level are almost at par with the Extra Class grade, however, the error ‘tolerance’ is raised to 10% at this level. This means that some defects are ‘allowed’ with regard to shape, color, size, and skin, but these defects do not affect the overall appearance of the produce.
Within this class, the produce might have some external and or internal defects, but would be fresh enough for consumption. Produce placed in this class are best suited to meet the demands of local markets, within a shorter radius/distance. This class serves customers who are price sensitive and willing to compromise a bit on quality.
Some indications of grading standards are as below:
The Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India came into existence in 1935, with the aim of scientifically putting together a grading system for produce. Farmers/producers, who undertake to grade of quality, are able to adjust to market conditions better, have a better reputation, and consistently gain better prices. With grading, farmers can still sell the lower quality products to the processing industry. Quality grading enables farmers to set their market strategies and ascertain the best business model for their produce. Connect with us to know more about various aspects of grading and sorting, and the most suitable strategies and equipment for them.