A market trader has been banned from selling a batch of kiwi fruits because they are 1mm smaller than EU rules allow.
Inspectors told 53-year- old Tim Down he is forbidden even to give away the fruits, which are perfectly healthy.
The father of three will now have to bin the 5,000 kiwis, costing him £1,000 in lost sales.
Speaking yesterday from the stall in Bristol he has owned for 20 years, Mr Down said: ‘It’s total nonsense. I work hard enough to make a living without all these bureaucrats telling us what we can and can’t sell.
‘They’re saying I’m a criminal for selling this fruit, but the real crime is that all this fruit will go to waste – all because it’s 1mm too small.
‘It’s a terrible waste, particularly when we’re all feeling the pinch from rising food prices and I’ve got to throw away this perfectly good fruit.’
The greengrocer will lose £1,000 because EU regulators say the fruits are one millimetre too small.
…he received a visit by inspectors from the Rural Payments Agency – part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The inspectors conducted a random check to see if Mr Down’s produce met strict European laws.
The regulations state that Class II kiwis must weigh a minimum of 62g – around 21/4oz.
But the two-hour inspection revealed that a number of the batch weighed 58g, or about 2oz.
Mr Down said that, in effect, this meant there were a mere 1mm, or 1/25 of an inch, too small in diameter.
Selling them – or giving them away – carries a fine of up to £5,000.