All Sabah Seafood
Companies May Need To Meet EU Standards Soon
BELUD, Feb 1 2010 -- The Sabah government is considering requiring
all seafood farms and seafood product manufacturers in the state to
adopt standardised practices according to the requirements of the
European Union (EU) in order to meet global demand.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin, who is also State
Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, said the measure was to ensure
that the farms and the manufacturers met the market's expectations in
case the EU requirement became a global requirement for export one day.
"Complying with EU standards is very important as its member
countries are Sabah's largest trading partners. We must try to meet
with the requirement now before it becomes a global thing," he told
reporters after visiting a prawn farm managed by a local company,
Warisan Hikmat Sdn Bhd, near here Monday.
According to Yahya, the EU banned fish exports from Sabah in April
2008 because the manufacturers and farms did not comply with its
standards and regulations.
"We used to export fish-based products worth RM90 million annually
to the EU countries. But getting our companies to adopt the EU
standardised practices is not just about wanting to export our
products. We want all our farms and manufacturers to be able to accept
rigid standards to ensure clean and quality products," he added.
Yahya said Sabah had formed the Market Access Group Committee,
headed by the State Health Department and involving the State Fisheries
Department, Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) and the
State Chemistry Department, to implement programmes that would ensure
seafood farms and manufacturing premises met EU standards.
Warisan Hikmat is the only seafood farm in Sabah that has earned
EU certification and is allowed to export its white prawns and tiger
prawns to the member countries.
Its director, Wah Keng Jieng, said the farm exported 1,500 tonnes of
prawns to the EU at RM11,000 per tonne.