Pakistani mangoes would face a ban in the lucrative European Union (EU) markets if another three cases of infestation of fruit flies in shipments is found as the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFA) has already intercepted two such mango consignments from Pakistan.
Director General (DG) Plant Protection Department (PPD) Dr Mubarik Ahmed, while talking to Business Recorder, said that the DEFA had so far intercepted two consignments infested with fruit flies of Pakistani mangoes. “Following the interception of two shipments of Pakistan mangoes, hot water treatment has been made mandatory for mangoes exported to the EU,” he said.
He said that the hot water treatment killed fruit flies and another eight to 10 diseases in mangoes, increasing shelf life of the fruit. Dr Mubarik further said that the EU’s stern warning accounted for a slight decline in the export of mangoes to EU markets; however he added that it would not affect Pakistan’s overall mango export as exporters had successfully found new markets including China, South Korea, and Mauritius.
Dr Mubarik said that Pakistan had the largest hot water treatment plant where 500 tons of mangoes could be processed daily. He said that presently, there were three treatment plants but 11 new facilities had been developed in Punjab whereas 40 more would be ready by next mango season.
The DG PPD said that the EU earlier warned Pakistan, it would ban import of Pakistani mangoes if a total of five cases of infestation of fruit flies in mango consignments were reported. The EU had already intercepted two such consignments and another three would lead to a ban on Pakistani mango exports to the EU. The EU food safety and consumer protection officials during an hour long videoconference with their Pakistan counterparts have agreed to limit a ban on Pakistani mango exports to only one season in case of five additional infested consignments.
Dr Mubarik said that Pakistan had so far exported 1500 tons of mangos to the EU out of total export of 47000 tons. Another official said that Pakistan exported 82,000 tons of mangoes to 56 countries last year, of which 24,000 tons were sent to the EU. Pakistan was among the 181 countries that had signed the International Plant Protection Convention under which states are bound to comply with quarantine laws and Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) requirements, he said.
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/pakistan-eu-warns-of-ban-if-mangoes-found-infested-with-fruit-flies)