Thai producers complain of China’s imposition of GMP on durian
Thai durian exporters and orchard owners have expressed serious concern that China’s recent imposition of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification, the system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards, on Thailand’s “king of fruits” will negatively affect durian exports to China and suppress the price of the fruit.
Only about 20% of durian exporters in Thailand’s southern provinces, and about 50% of the exporters in the northeastern region, have GMP certification, according to durian trading sources. There are fears that, if the number of exporters who buy durian for export to China is substantially reduced because of imposition of GMP, the price of durian may drop to less than 100 baht per kg.
The sources pointed out that the harvest season in the South is due to start at the end of this month and lasts through August. About 400,000 tonnes of southern durian are expected to be harvested this season.
Previously, exporters with GAP certification could export durian to China, but now they are required to have GMP certification said the sources, adding that some critics have interpreted the move as China imposing a non-tariff barrier on Thai durian, which is popular among Chinese.
Mr. Wirat Thambamrung, director of the 7th Region Agricultural Research and Development Office in the southern province of Surat Thani, said his office was checking to find out how many exporters in the southern region have GMP certification, so that durian can be exported without delay before the market is flooded with the fruit.
He also called upon orchard owners and exporters to ensure that their durian are produced and controlled according to recognized standards.