Sunday October 21, 2012
Drop conformity cert, Fama urged
IPOH: Vegetable and flower exporters from Cameron Highlands want the national agriculture marketing authority to do away with the certificates of conformity (COC) to sell their products abroad.
Cameron Highlands Vegetable Transport Association chairman Lau Sai Hoong said the COC, enforced by the Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (Fama) in November last year, was time-consuming and delayed delivery of vegetable produce.
He added that it was unnecessary as its purpose was already served by Fama's 3P regulation for grading, packaging and labelling.
The 3P regulation allows the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry to trace and track the greens in the market and withdraw any contaminated products.
Lai said the association was also against Fama's online e-Sijil 3P system, which started on Oct 17 last year.
“There are a lot of hidden charges in using the e-Sijil 3P system, which add to our cost of production and reduce the competitiveness of our agriculture produce. Furthermore, the process can be inconvenient as we usually transport the goods at night,” Lau said on Friday.
Present were representatives from the Cameron Highlands Floriculturist Association and vegetable growers.
Regarding a committee set up in April to re-study the COC, he said it was scheduled to come up with solutions within six months but the panel had only met twice.
“Now that the grace period is almost over, the authority wants us to accept the COC. We feel this is unfair,” he added.
The committee comprises representatives from the association, Fama and the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis).