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Current Position:Home » News » Law & Regulation » EU Food Regulations » Topic

EU entry requirements guideline for better business

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-01-17  Views: 75
Core Tip: “Up to now, winter weather conditions have been good for garlic. The most critical months will be March, April and May.
“Up to now, winter weather conditions have been good for garlic. The most critical months will be March, April and May. Those months are key regarding growing and harvesting of the 2017 garlic crop. If the weather holds up to May, this year’s garlic harvest might be up to 20% larger than last year’s harvest”, explains Kevin Li of Qingdao Sinonut International.

“We grow Normal White garlic on our own fields in Shandong Province. We have our own fields, warehouse and cold storage facilities, packaging, sorting and quality control systems. As such we are able to cover the full chain from production to harvest to export through the port of Qingdao. Our main export markets are the EU and the Middle East. Defenitely in Europe, having own capacity for sorting and quality control is giving us an advantage compared to our competitors. This is most crucial in Europe, where quality is key. Buyers in the Middle East also compete on quality, but are more likely to compete on price.”

“The export company is responsible for that its products meet European quality and phytosanitary standards. As such, we are responsible for our cargo and our product on the European market. Usually, the product is tested at the client’s side, once the product has been imported into Europe. If any problems occur, we will ask a third party to conduct an independent quality control check and inform us what the reason is of the problem. We want to establish a healthy and durable relationship with our clients. This is another reason why we believe our focus on quality is justified”

“We have insurances that cover shipping. During shipment we work with temperature control devices that keep track of any changes in temperature, which can cause quality problems.”

“Same entry requirements apply to the entire European market and European quality standards and phytosanitary measurements are the same for the entire block of countries. However, there can be differences based on the type of import company or retailers that the garlic is delivered to. If garlic is used to be sold at wholesale markets, requirements can be more lenient than if the garlic is being sold in supermarkets directly.”

“We updated our quality control programmes yearly, in accordance with customers’ requirements. If the garlic is delivered to wholesale markets, we work on the basis of yearly quality control. For example, however, last year, some customers started to ask for internal quality control. Now we also conduct those tests before we ship our garlic to Europe. The EU international legislation is stable, main changes come from the client, not from EU regulatory bodies.

Why quality beats price

“The European and Middle Eastern markets are both very important to us. The European market is very competitive and most of our customers are focused on both price and quality. Because we are a fully integrated company, we can meet strict quality requirements and we can compete on this. Garlic prices are not likely to come back down to those low price levels as in 2012. Back then, a ton garlic would sell for 300 or 400 USD per ton. With rising labour costs and growing demand from China, prices are likely to stay around the level of 1,000 to 1,500 USD per ton, which is a healthy price for the industry.

“Demand for quality products will stay. People want to eat healthy, wholesome food, that is not tempered with. We face many customers that tell us they have received lower offers from other garlic growers and exporters. We will insist, however. We sell a healthy quality product at a reasonable price.”

keywords: garlic
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