KFC has been in discussions with KEPHIS on concerns over the increased rejections being witnessed since September 2014 by KEPHIS at JKIA. The on-going discussions have yielded some results but there is still more work to be done.
Recent indications from the EU are that interceptions at the destination markets have reduced which is commendable (http://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/plant_health_biosafety/europhyt/interceptions_en.htm).
Bearing in mind that when notifications are issued, they affect the whole industry and the country at large; the fact that interceptions are given to individual/specific companies notwithstanding. In effect this results in increased checks at the destination markets which are costly, time consuming, and cause delays in delivery of products to the customers.
Hence it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to ensure that Kenya’s profile, as a reliable fresh produce exporting country is not compromised by non compliance.
KEPHIS has pointed out that 52% of interceptions are attributed to documentation while 48% is due to quality parameters. Producers are therefore encouraged to strengthen pest and disease control surveillance systems at the production level; and to have robust quality control checks at the postharvest processing / grading level to ensure only high quality flowers are dispatched to the market.
Other recommendations emanating from t discussions include:
- Conducting due diligence study on the importing countries phytosanitary regime requirements on quarantine pests and trade documentation.
- Early delivery of produce for inspection by KEPHIS at JKIA.
- Ensuring accuracy on information given on the KEPHIS ECS system and export documents.
- Working with KEPHIS to conduct more inspections at the farms.
- Producer self-reporting on interceptions.
- Immediate reporting to KEPHIS on rejections and interceptions concerns.
Below are some helpful links on Phytosanitry requirements: