EDB seeks green light from China for Organic vegetable and fruit

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) has made a formal request to the Quarantine Authorities of China for obtaining quarantine clearance for in a bid to support Sri Lankan Agri-entrepreneurs in gaining new ground in China’s organic market.

China is an important market for Sri Lanka in the context of the ongoing negotiations for signing of the FTA. In addition, a study undertaken by EDB has indicated that there is a great demand for Sri Lankan vegetables and fruits such as banana, papaya, and mango in the Chinese market, Jeevani Siriwardena-Director General of EDB, told at a two-day awareness workshop and on-field consultations for export oriented small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) towards the achievement of China Organic Product Certification within the framework of UNIDO’s Export Compliance Programme (XCP), held at the EDB auditorium yesterday.

The workshop is being organized by the National Organic Control Unit (NOCU) of EDB in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and ECOCERT’s branches in India and China.XCP is a targeted initiative under the European Union (EU) funded EU-Sri Lanka Trade Related Assistance project to build the compliance capacity of SMEs along the food and spices value chains with respect to quality, food safety, packaging and labeling.

As the fourth largest organic retail market in the world with a retail sales value of around €5,900 million in 2016, according to Switzerland’s Research Institute of Organic Agriculture’s report published in 2018 and reinforced by India’s Ken Research’s 2020 outlook for China’s organic food market, China’s existing supply of organic agricultural products falls short of domestic demand by 30% and is predicted to face a surge in demand due to multiple growth drivers.

According to Siriwardena, food and beverage sector is identified as one of the priority export promotion sectors within the national agenda of Sri Lankan government.

“Sri Lanka is the leading organic tea exporter to the world market. The organic export product range has also broadened now to coconut and related products, coffee, cocoa, medicinal herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables, essential oil and etc,” she said. In addition, the United States of America, Germany, China, France, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, UK, Spain and Denmark are the leading markets for Sri Lankan organic products.

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