Sweet Christ this is stupid.
Tim Down sells fruit in a market. Recently he was subject to an inspection to make sure that everything was ok. It turned out that about 5000 of the kiwi fruits he was planning to sell didn’t meet European Union saleability standards.
You might be thinking to yourself “good, I’m glad they caught him before anybody was sickened.” Normally I’d agree, but not this time. In fact I’m willing to bet that when you hear the reason why his fruit failed the inspection, you’ll be sickened. I know I was.
It turns out that the fruit couldn’t be sold not due to disease or spoilage or unsafe storage conditions or any other perfectly reasonable circumstance, but rather because they were too small, 1mm too small to be exact.
“Well” you might say, “at least he’ll be able to take them home and give them away or donate them to people in need, so it won’t be a total waste.”
Um…no. If he were to do that and get caught, he would be facing a fine of up to £5,000 in addition to the £1,000 worth of lost sales he’s already out.
“So what happens to all of that perfectly good fruit then” you ask. Well, it gets chucked. No ifs ands or buts about it. Because it barely misses the size and weight requirement it’s all gotta go. We wouldn’t want anybody getting their hands on it you see, it could be dangerous or worse yet, look weird.
The horribly victimized Tim Down, who if at all possible should sue the houses out from under everybody involved in this, summed things up best:
“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.”