November 26, 2010 4:26:08 am
Months after the Eurpoean Union rejected a large consignment of grapes from India,an Indo-Dutch project on food safety in international fruit trade has been launched. Freek van Zoeren,deputy inspector general,Food Safety Authority,The Netherlands,said,The cross training programmes and workshops will further enhance the exchange of best practices in food safety standards. The project will aim at making pre-arrival information clear before the stock reaches the Rotterdam harbour. Developing research on both sides is needed keeping the consumer in mind. The project was announced by the Ministry of Economic Affairs,Agriculture and Innovation of The Netherlands,the Dutch Food Safety Authority (nFSA) in association with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry,GoI,and the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce,Industry and Agriculture (MCCIA).
India is an important exporter for the Dutch as there is demand in Europe for table grapes all through the year,Zoeren said. Owing to climatic conditions,India is the only country that can supply grapes from March to May.
Devendra Prasad,assistant general manager,APEDA,India said,Fresh table grapes are one of the potential scheduled products looked after by APEDA. The organisations role is to create common infrastructure facilities,provide assistance for implementation of systems such food safety,quality,in-house quality control laboratory and packaging.
The team will work with APEDA and other government authorities to strengthen agricultural practices to make optimum use of pesticides and growth regulators focussing on international trade and food safety standards. It will also advise accredited laboratories and growers on tracking and tracing system with the accompanying sampling for residue analysis for the small growers. In early 2011,a first group of laboratory staff selected and funded by APEDA will be trained at Wagenigen University and Research Institute RIKILT,The Netherlands. A study visit of APEDA and the Food Safety Authority (FSSA) to The Netherlands will also be organised.
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