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Grades and standards for fresh agricultural produce are considered one of the main tools for the marketing of commodities in the local and international markets due to the worldwide commercialization of agricultural produce.
Fresh produce is expected to conform to specific criteria, such as: weight, size, shape, density, firmness, hygiene, packaging and labeling requirements.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MOA&F), in association with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the Marketing and Agriculture for Jamaican Competitiveness (MAJIC) Project developed a Produce Grading Manual for selected crops.
This manual outlines a clear set of descriptive guidelines on quality, size, and labeling, packaging, hygiene and grade classification.
The aim is to create a clear communication system between buyers and sellers of fresh agricultural produce.
Fresh produce shall be packed and marketed in three grades as follows:
The preferred grade is perfect quality produce.
The general market grade, which may include produce with minor blemishes.
Lower quality produce which meets the minimum requirements, but is not up to the standard of Grade One or Two.
Important terms used in the development of Grades and Standards for Fresh Agricultural Produce
Further information can be had from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority by calling 1-888-ASK-RADA or contacting the Communications and Public Relations Department.