Published: May 19, 2015
The ministry said that any export of fruit and perishable vegetable in wooden crates would means jeopardising markets in Europe and the UAE — invaluable for Pakistan’s fruits. PHOTO: REUTERS
ISLAMABAD: In light of mounting pressure on the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFSR) to ensure quality standards, the administration is leaving no stone unturned to export mangoes in corrugated cardboxes instead of wooden crates.
This is being done to avoid any possible ban on the export of mangoes from the international market.
However, a senior officer at the ministry admitted to The Express Tribune that a certain export group is pressuring the ministry through various tactics including filing a petition at the Sindh High Court challenging the decision to ban wooden crates.
The ministry said that any export of fruit and perishable vegetable in wooden crates would means jeopardising markets in Europe and the UAE — invaluable for Pakistan’s fruits.
The officer said the ministry repeatedly reminded exporters to make necessary arrangements for the export of fruit in corrugated cardboxes. Any violation of rules would result in cancellation of the export permit.
Last year, Pakistan exported 92,000 tons of mangoes and the biggest market was United Arab Emirates (UAE) and European Union (EU).
However, both these markets are very stringent regarding the packing of export product.
The officer said that it was important to protect the agri-commodity under the Department of Plant Protection, which is the regulatory body to ensure pest-free imports and exports of agri commodities under the Plant Quarantine Act 1976, Plant Quarantine Rules 1967 and International Plant Protection Convention.
He said that the international community has shifted from wooden crates to corrugated cardboxes accompanied with specialised treatment to prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
According to the official, majority of exporters and trade bodies are in favour of the ministry’s decision and are improving the packing standard, but a handful of exporters are pressuring the government to relax the mechanism.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2015.