Thai fruits popular in China face random inspection
China’s customs department has asked Thailand’s Department of Agriculture to conduct random checks on fruit orchards and packaging factories for contamination from insecticides and the Covid-19 virus.
“Chinese authorities have requested that plantations and factories that export durian, longan, mangosteen and coconut be randomly inspected. At least three factories and three orchards of each type of fruit should be checked within July,” the department’s director-general Pichet Wiriyapaha said on Wednesday.
“All operators have been told to prepare for inspection and adhere to food safety standards required by China as well as guidelines provided by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation on food safety during the Covid-19 outbreak.”
Phichet added that China’s customs department will check all imported food for Covid-19 contamination at all checkpoints and will suspend the exporter for a week if any traces of the virus are found on the products in the first two checks.
“If the virus is found for the third time, the exporter will be suspended for four weeks,” he added.
The four fruits under scrutiny dominate Thailand’s food exports to China. From January 1 to June 15, Thailand has exported 253,017 tonnes of durian worth 31 billion baht, 89,366 tonnes of longan worth 3.9 billion baht, 20,486 tonnes of mangosteen worth 1.6 billion baht, and 61,070 tonnes of coconut worth 1.1 billion to China. The total export value of these four fruits is over 37 billion baht.
“The department is confident that plantations and factories that have been registered with the department will pass China’s random inspection with no problem,” said Pichet.