The Commission Committee of the European Union (EU) has voted unanimously to revoke a ban on the importation of Alphonso mangoes that was slapped on India in 2014 on account of sub-standard quality. All shipments of the fruit from India to the EU were suspended in May 2014 after inspection officials found fruitflies in a number of consignments.
Speaking about the development, Britain’s minister for natural environment, Lord de Mauley, said that the decision to revoke the ban is reflective of the many improvements that India has brought about to its export system. He also added that it is imperative for India to uphold these quality benchmarks to keep trade between the two countries on the smooth track. Mauley said that it was also equally important to keep the health of consumers in Britain in mind.
Officials close to the development said that the EU would resume imports from India in about a month, after the EU adopts the new legislation formally, and the European Commission publishes it.
While this development brought much cheer for the mango trade committee in India, the same cannot be said about exporters dealing in four other banned products – bitter gourds, patra leaves, aubergines, and snake gourds. The imports of these vegetables continue to face a ban on account of sub-standard pest control standards, added de Mauley.
Sanjay Pansare, the director of the Agriculture Produce Market Committee, based in New Mumbai, said that the development marks good news for traders of Alphonso mangoes in India, especially after the ban caused losses to a number of exporters in the country last year.
As for the other vegetables that are still barred from being exported from India to the EU, officials from the latter said that they would review the possibility of revoking the ban only after they have enough evidence of the safety and pest-control standards. After the UK, the markets of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany are among the important ones for fruit and vegetable exporters from India.