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Current Position:Home » News » Agri & Animal Products » Fruits & Vegetables » Topic

EU's phytosanitary regulations hurdle to Asian exotic exports

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2014-05-05  Views: 29
Core Tip: Thailand has a lot of small scale producers for exotics like okra, lemongrass, asparagus and baby corn. Which are the main products for export to EU.
Thailand has a lot of small scale producers for exotics like okra, lemongrass, asparagus and baby corn. Which are the main products for export to EU. According to a Thai exporter, there were more items, but had to be reduced as a consequence of the EU’s introduction of stricter import regulations, including EU 669/2009, which requires samples of 10 to 20% of the shipments.

“Although we also work with small retailers and Asia shops, our focus is on supermarkets, where the conditions imposed to trade with such small exotic products, considering all the certification and lab costs involved, become a real obstacle,” says the exporter. If the volume ordered is small, for instance 50 kg per week, and one in every five or ten shipments needs to be sampled, lab costs skyrocket, pushing prices well above profitable levels.

There was also the issue of the EU’s five strike rule, by which country-wide bans may be applied. These problems, according to the Thai company, have no easy solution, apart from, as they suggest, modifying the standards on a case by case basis, depending on each company’s reputation.

The situation, in any case, has really improved since the introduction of establishment lists by the EU, which apply to specific food establishments. “It is difficult for both sides, but it is also understandable that the EU would wish all imports to be clean and safe. The Thai government, for its part, also imposes its own regulations on the country’s exporters.”

All in all, there is always a conflict between safety and prices, as importers will always seek the best value and introducing costly regulations will indirectly drive clients away to cheaper producers in Vietnam or Cambodia, so ideally, a balance between the two needs to be found.

 
 
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