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BANGKOK (NNT) – China is encouraging Thailand to adopt World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) guidelines, to establish confidence in exported durians and maintain a market worth 50 billion baht.

Mr Pichet Wiriyaphaha, Director-General of the Department of Agriculture, has consulted relevant agencies and representatives of China to establish confidence in durian exports to China during the COVID-19 outbreak. China is a big market for Thailand, and preparation of exports will take place from February to May 2021. The concerns of Mr Phanusak Saiphanich, President of the Thai Durian Association, will be discussed in order to help maintain the Thai durian export market. Each year, durian exports to China are worth more than 50 billion baht. More than 140,000 farming households and other people in the durian business depend on the success of the export system.

The Department of Agriculture and National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS) met with representatives of the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) which advised that the Chinese government has enhanced measures to control the COVID-19 virus contamination in goods imported from abroad. There will be a strict random inspection of products and sterilization measures must be taken for food transported under temperature controls (cold chain) from Customs house to transport, distribution and selling. To do so, the Chinese government pays close attention to imported products from all countries. China praised the Thai fruit export management system as being very effective and maintaining high level safety.

Throughout the COVID-19 epidemic period, COVID-19 contamination has never been detected in Thai fruit packaging or products. Thailand emphasized that the Thai government and Thai private sector have joined forces to take preventive and control measures to ensure the safety of Thai products along with good quality.

Mr Suthee Thongyaem, Governor of Chanthaburi, disclosed today that eastern and Chanthaburi fruit are about to be harvested and sent overseas for sale. To build confidence among partner countries during the COVID-19 outbreak, the province has put in place measures as follows: agricultural products to be exported must meet the GAP standard and be free from COVID-19; undergo screening before entering the fruit farm each time; all workers at fruit buying stalls must undergo screening and body temperature measurements, have one way to enter and exit and sterilize every piece of packaging that is to be sent abroad.

Moreover, all vehicles that carry fruit from Chanthaburi to other provinces and into other countries must be sterilized at the disinfection point operated by the Chanthaburi Provincial Administrative Organization.

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