MEASURES have been taken to ensure that all exports of bird’s nests are in compliance with requirements stipulated by importers in China.
“Malaysia must go through licensed exporters who are in compliance with the quality and safety standard requirements and whose processing plants have been accredited with Veterinary Health Mark (VHM),” said Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu
In his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly here yesterday, Jabu said edible bird nest (EBN) was a very high value export item for the state and the country, with export value of EBN at about RM100 million per annum.
“The constraint for not being able to export to China is due to the detection of high nitrate content in our EBN,” he reported.
According to him, the government is now encouraging bird nest farmers to adopt Good Animal Husbandry Practice (GAHP) in their production system to ensure that the EBN are safe for human consumption and to win back the confidence of consumers.
“Currently, 60 farms in Sarawak have adopted GAHP and two processing plants are HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points) certified. The authorities at the federal level are now in the process of finalising the export and import protocols so that trade on this commodity can resume with China,” said Jabu, pointing out that with the implementation of the protocols, the ban is expected to be lifted.
He added that two companies in Sarawak have met VHM requirements and pending approval from the Department of Veterinary Service Putrajaya, they will also be able to export EBN.
Presently, there are only eight companies in Malaysia with processing plants that are accredited with VHM and are eligible to export to China.