Okra is an exotic vegetable in Europe and is
consumed mostly by people of African,
Caribbean and Asian origin.
* Product Definition
– Okra is the fruit of the plant Abelmoschus
esculentus also known as lady’s finger or
– Okra can be produced in both tropical
or sub-tropical climates.
– The plant can grow up to 2 meters and is either annual or perennial.
– The unripe fruit should be picked a couple of
days after flowering and can be eaten as a
– The seed pods are green or red and can grow up to 18 cm long.
– Fresh okra can be kept fresh only a couple of days.
– Okra seeds can be used for making edible oil.
– Okra is shipped to the EU by air.�
Commodity code for okra Number Product
Fresh or chilled vegetables
Source: Eurostat Comext.
* Product Specification
Import of fresh fruits and vegetables from
third countries to the EU must conform to
– Minimum requirements is that products:
—- should be intact,
—- clean and sound,
—- (practically) free from pests,
—- abnormal external moisture,
—- internal browning, and in a
—- condition to withstand transport and handling.
* Due to the rapid rate of growth and
development, okra should be harvested every �one to two days to ensure the size specification range.
* Okra should not be harvested in the rain or
when excessively wet, and should be handled
* Rubber gloves should be used during
harvesting and handling.
* On harvesting ….
—- approximately 1 cm of stem should remain
attached to the pod.
* Due to the perishable nature of okra, harvesting must take place on the day of, or on the day preceding shipment.
* Classes of Okra
There are 3 different quality classes of okra:
o Extra Class (superior quality);
o Class I
(slight defects in shape,
development and colouring);
o Class II
(defects in shape, development, colouring and
Oversize and damage crops are to be
removed in order to meet the highest quality
Okra products should be harvest
—- between 40 _ 115 mm in length,
—- tender and
—- readily snap at the tip.
Size is determined by the length of the okra (in mm.
* Size Code For Okro
Size code :
Length of the fruit in mm
A 40.1 – 65.
B 65.1 – 90.0
C 90.1 – 115.0
D 115.1 and above
Okra is highly perishable but with optimum �
post-harvest handling systems (cold chain),
quality is maintained for four to seven days.
* The visible part of the contents of the
package must be representative of the entire
* Okra is to be packed in a way that properly
protects the product.
* The materials used inside the package must be clean and of a quality such as to avoid
causing any external or internal damage to
* The use of materials, particularly paper or stamps bearing trade specifications, is allowed, provided the printing or labelling has been done with non-toxic ink or glue.
* Stickers individually affixed to the produce
shall be such that, when removed, they
neither leave visible traces of glue, nor lead to skin defects.
* Sacks or bags are not to be used as these incur damage and cause heat build-up.
Packages must be free of all �foreign matter.
* All pods meeting the size specifications can be loose packed into cartons
(size grading into individual size is not
* Okra is graded by hand or moving conveyors or standard grading tables.
* Net weights are dependent on the importers’
requirements and vary from 3.5 to 5 kg,
sometimes up 6-7kg (8 to 10lb, or 15lb).
* The usual packing is 4-5 kg cartons with
ventilation holes to prevent overheating,
because okra exhibits exceedingly high rates of respirations, which generates a large production of heat and results in rapid
Each package must bear the following
particulars, in letters grouped on the same
side, legibly and indelibly marked,
and visible from the outside:
* Information about the packer/dispatcher
and or shipper
* The nature of the product
* Country of origin of the product
* Traceability code
* Class and size of the product.
To be continued
We enjoin everyone of us to get a note book. Or possibly print this out for reference
We will still come across this as we move along.
THE TEAM OKRO FARM