Asian export ties were strengthened this week when the Indonesian Quarantine Agency granted Country of Recognition for South Africa’s food safety control system, thereby increasing the export potential for the country's deciduous fruit.
The document was signed by the Indonesian minister of agriculture, Amran Sulaiman, on Monday 11 April and was forwarded to Willem Geerlings, political counsellor at the South African Embassy in Jakarta.
“This has been a long and complex process and the industry is heartened by this breakthrough,” said Anton Rabe, Hortgro executive director. “This establishes a new trading regime that will ease the import process and documentation requirements, and also opens up the port of Jakarta as entry point into Indonesia.”
Country of Recognition status means the acknowledgement of food safety supervision systems for fresh food that is of plant origin from South Africa. This means that the food safety systems, production practices and phytosanitary systems are accredited and acknowledged.
The products on the list will have preferential treatment because there is now more certainty surrounding market access. Importantly, South Africa may now use Jakarta port and this means the country has direct access to Indonesia’s biggest marketing region.
“In the past we only had access to Surabaya, which is about 770km from Jakarta. From there fruit had to be trucked to Jakarta," noted Rabe.
A umber of products have been included, namely apples, apricots, cherries, citrus fruits, grapes, grapefruit, lemons, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pears, peanuts, plums, grapefruit and prunes.
Rabe said the industry was grateful for the contributions made by organisations, governments and individuals on both sides.
“The collaborative efforts and hard work by all parties towards achieving this ultimate goal has finally paid off and is certainly welcomed and well deserved,” said Lindi Benić, Hortgro trade and market access manager.
She especially acknowledged Geerlings’ extensive ongoing efforts in this regard. “We look forward to this new development, also providing confirmation of products included under South Africa's Country of Recognition status - including all deciduous fruit and including the use of the port of Jakarta.”