8 February 2013

Kenya: State Tightens Fresh Produce Export Rules

Exporters of fruits and vegetables have until next Thursday to renew their licenses or have them stand revoked by the end of the month, the Horticultural Crops Development Authority announced on Wednesday.

"With a view to address breaches on traceability and food safety standards concerns in the recent past new ones will be issued to qualifying companies subject to submission satisfactory information on compliance," HCDA said in newspaper advertisements.

The conditions include submission of evidence that the exporters implement a spray program at small holder farms within their contracted schemes.

The companies will also be required to provide an up to date traceable list of small holder fruit and vegetable farmer group from where they source their export products.

The applications must include details of whether their staff and agents have been attending the mandatory annual training on good horticultural practices to stand a chance of license renewal.

The training programme is held under the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya, a private association for the horticultural industry.

Currently the horticultural industry is estimated to contribute 23 per cent of GDP with a sector growth of between 15 and 20 per cent.The tight monitoring by HCDA follows stringent conditions in the European market on fresh produce imports.

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