Monitoring food and condiments exports

Monitoring food and condiments exports

Vigilance Committee has yet to perform its duty

KARACHI: The Vigilance Committee for monitoring exports of food items and condiments to European Union (EU) and other countries has yet to perform its due duty, exporters said on Saturday.

The government is yet to take any concrete measures in this respect and the exporters alleged certification-processing agencies like Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR), Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) and other institutions working for the certification of quality control in the country were also not coming up to the standards.

Ministry of Science and Technology is the authority controlling these institutions as they are regarded as the national standardisation bodies, a soft commodity expert said.

After confiscation of 126 export consignments by more than 16 countries on ground of adultery worth Rs 422 million, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MINFA) has submitted a report before the National Assembly’s (NA) Committee on Food and Agriculture in this regard, an official of MINFA said.

He maintained during 2011, UK confiscated export consignments of food items and condiments from Pakistan following Italy, Greece and other countries of food items and condiments.

The export also faced a decline on back of poor performance and still Indian exports are higher than Pakistan in Gulf States. “Our quality control process is still lacking world standards besides lack of concentration and corruption in government departments are leading to tarnish our name in export front,” he maintained.

He said the food items having the highest percentage of adulteration are included milk products (93 percent), condiments (86 percent), food snacks (47 percent), oil made food products and prickles (46 percent) and assorted food items including sweetmeat have been found around 34 percent food adulteration.

He said the government should form a quality implementation committee comprising members of quality certification bodies, parliament, members from Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and exporters to monitor the exportable items especially food and condiments exports.

He said even vegetable and edible oil export consignments were also confiscated by the importing countries including Spain, Poland, Holland, Taiwan, France, Sweden and Belgium in past. staff report