Monday, April 9, 2012

Malaysia to ink bird's nest pact / Export to China

Information obtained from The Star News ( 09th April 2012)

Malaysia to ink bird's nest pact / Export to China

MUAR: Malaysia will sign the draft protocol on bird's nest entry into China soon to resume export of the luxury item which was halted several months ago.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar said the three main conditions for the resumption of bird's nest export to China had been agreed upon in the latest negotiations between the countries.

He said among the conditions were that Malaysian bird's nest exporters must have the Radio Frequency Identification certificate issued by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to detect the locations of problematic bird's nests using radio wave frequency.

They must also have the Veterinary Department's and the Health Ministry's health certificates.

“The measures are to ensure bird's nest products for export to China are not only from healthy birds but the product is also safe for consumption,” Noh said when opening the Bakri Parliamentary Constituency Farmers' Organisation annual general meeting at Maktab Rendah Sains Mara in Muar here.

At the event, he also witnessed the signing of a bird's nest purchasing agreement between Syarikat Duta Sialin Biotechnology Sdn Bhd and eight farmers' organisations.

The organisations are from Pagoh (Johor), Tanjung Karang (Selangor), south Manjung (Perak), Bandar Baharu (Kedah), Gua Musang (Kelantan) Terengganu and Sabah.

He said the halt in the entry of Malaysian bird's nest into China resulted in many operators facing problems.

“The market price of bird's nest plunged from RM4,000 to only RM1,500 per kilo. Many faced problems in servicing their bank loans,” he said. - Bernama

Information obtained from The Star News ( 16th January 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

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