Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Bird's nest exporters need 3 quality certifications to enter China
KUALA LUMPUR: Starting this year, local companies exporting swiftlet nests to China are required to obtain three quality certifications before their products will be allowed to enter the republic, according to Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar.
He said the quality certifications were the Veterinary Health Mark (VHM) certificate issued by the Veterinary Department, the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) certificate issued by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the health certificate issued by the Health Ministry. The three certifications are aimed at ensuring the quality of the Malaysian swiftlet nests would meet the standards set by the Chinese government, he told reporters after opening Malaysia's first Authentic Bird's Nest Depository and Trade Centre in Puchong near here on Monday.
"These quality certifications must be adhered to in order to meet the strict requirements set by the Chinese government after they agreed to accept swiftlet nests from Malaysia last year. "However, the Chinese government has also required that only bird's nests with zero part per million (ppm) of nitrite are allowed to be exported to the republic," he said.
Noh said it was very difficult to obtain swiftlet nests with zero nitrite level, but the ministry was hoping that the Health Ministry could set a minimum and acceptable nitrite level for the issuance of the certification purposes.
The minister said the company which obtained the three quality certifications would be allowed to use the "1Malaysia Best" brand on their swiftlet nest products, but they also had to identify a strategic partner in China to ease the trade and monitoring process.
"Their partners in China will also be required to promote swiftlet nest products bearing the brand of '1Malaysia Best' as the ones having the best quality and safe for consumption," he said. Meanwhile, Health Ministry Food Safety and Quality Control Division senior director Dr Noraini Mohd Othman said the swiftlet nest products containing high level of nitrite could pose a threat to human health and could also cause cancer.
"We will announce the acceptable level of nitrite in swiftlet nests after the ongoing discussion between our experts and their counterparts in China is concluded," she said. - Bernama
Posted by asa at 6:41 AM