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  • European Commission increases checks on food imports 28/01/2013

    To ensure food safety, the European Commission undertakes regular monitoring surveys of food imports into the European Union market with respect to pesticide residues. The results inform the review of Annex 1 of the EU regulation 669/2009, as regards increased controls on imports of certain feed and food of non-animal origin. Kenya, among other countries, exports substantial fresh produce into the market. On 4 December 2012, the EU Directorate of Health & Consumers took the decision to review Annex 1 of regulation 669/2009 to increase levels of checks for a variety of commodities from various countries, including Kenya’s beans and peas in pods. The controls became effective from 1 January 2013, and will be implemented at 10% level for all Kenyan exports of French beans, snow peas, mangetout, runner beans, sugar snaps and valore beans to the EU market. 
    In order to meet the stringent EU market requirements and to avert increased controls on her products in future, the Government of Kenya convened meetings with all the relevant stakeholders (private and public) to appraise them on their requirements on the new market developments, and detailed action plans were prepared, notably through the horticultural competent authority, which met on 11 December 2012. The meeting prepared and agreed on the following operational actions to tighten controls on standards implementation on pesticides use in Kenyan horticulture:
    • The implementation of a stringent traceability programme for the horticultural subsector by the Horticulture Crops Development Authority (HCDA).
    • Implementation of an enhanced pesticide residue monitoring plan by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KePHIS).
    • Implementation of enhanced monitoring/surveillance of pesticide quality by the Pest Control Products Board (PCPB).
    • Intensifying training of farmers on Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), led by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kenya.
    The above action plans were communicated to all the stakeholders on 14 December 2012, and further proposals agreed in order to mitigate the problem. On 22 December 2012, exporters and their agents were appraised on the requirements of the Common Entry Document (CED) for the exported peas and beans in pods to the EU market. Kenya looks forward to posting positive results during the next EU review in March 2013. Further progress will be communicated.
    We wish to reiterate the Government of Kenya’s commitment to the implementation of EU and other markets requirements on our export produce.