Quality and quality assurance are among the most critical issues facing the fresh produce industry. This paper shows that while quality is widely noted to be an important concept, it is not clearly defined in the literature. Several definitions of quality are presented. The terminology associated with quality assurance is analyzed. An array of quality assurance systems used in the European fresh product sector are presented. Conclusions are drawn that while fresh produce quality will always be a factor retailers use to compete for consumers, there is evidence of industry consensus on some quality attributes, particularly, safety, environmental, and social attributes.


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