|A farmer harvests pepper in Gia Lai Province. Vietnamese black pepper will be put under special control by Spain when imported to this country after a warning about high residue of carbendazim fungicide found in some batches of Vietnamese pepper. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Giang
HA NOI (VNS)— Spain will initiate special measures to control black pepper imports to this country after a warning about high residue of carbendazim fungicide found in some batches of Vietnamese pepper.
The warning was issued by the European Commission (EC), according to the Viet Nam's Trade Office in Spain.
The office said the EC issued the warning after authorities in Malta detected high carbendazim residue in Phuc Sinh Joint Stock Company's batches of black pepper imported to the country.
Initially, Spain will retain the special control measures until there are official guarantees in quality inspection from exporting countries and/or result of inspection for next imports that reach quality standards, or until the EC issues general control measures for its all member countries, the office said.
For Phuc Sinh Company's export black pepper, Spain will seize suspected samples of the company's export black pepper batches to analyse amounts of carbendazim and keep all shipments until they receive official results on the level of carbendazim in the products.
The Viet Nam Pepper Association said it was really unfortunate to see Viet Nam's black pepper exports being returned, although at very small volumes.
However, Do Ha Nam, chairman of the association was quoted by Vietnam Television (VTV) as saying that the action would affect the reputation of Vietnamese pepper on the world market.
Nam said Vietnamese pepper with high fungicide and pesticide residues were partly due to the strong increase of the area growing pepper plants, so the relevant offices could not control the use of fungicide and pesticide by farmers.
In addition, Viet Nam had not yet controlled the quality of pepper products before shipping them to other countries, he said. Therefore, Viet Nam should invest more in quality control for its export products to maintain the reputation of local export pepper on the world market and for sustainable development of the domestic pepper industry.
Last year, Viet Nam exported pepper with a total value at VND764,319 million to Spain, a year-on-year increase of 33.6 per cent, according to the Viet Nam's Trade Office in Spain. Viet Nam is the second largest exporter of pepper to Spain, after China.
The country gained a total export value of VND27,712 billion from pepper in 2015. — VNS