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PIA Press Release

RP hosts 3rd meeting for ASEAN Standards for Horticulture Products

by Aida C. Agad

Koronadal City (22 March) -- The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards (BAFPS) sponsored the 3rd Meeting of the Task Force on the ASEAN Standards for Horticultural Produce (MASHP), particularly that which involve all quality attributes of fruits and vegetable at the Xavier Sports and Country Club, Cagayan de Oro City on March 20-22, 2007.

This is the last leg of the 3-year-series where the Philippines acted as host. Last year’s initial successful meeting was held at Waterfront Hotel, Cebu City and participated in by various ASEAN member countries including Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Lao PDR, Cambodia and the Philippines.

The Task Force operates on networking arrangements among ASEAN countries with the overarching concern of ensuring high quality horticultural products, protecting consumers, facilitating trade of horticultural commodities and promoting cooperation among ASEAN countries.

In a briefer, the agriculture department’s BAFPS said that “this effort is very timely since the Philippines is up on pushing further its international markets for four (4) fruits standards namely- lansium, guava, mangosteen and watermelon. It is hoped that the important issues associated with the harmonization of standards to be discussed will eventually improve product standards that will gain market access locally, within the ASEAN markets and internationally.”

The Task Force will also review the drafts ASEAN Harmonized Standards for papaya, pummelo, rambutan and mandarin.

The gathering also enable participating ASEAN countries to improve further ASEAN relations and networking among experts both at technical and personal levels. At the same time, it is designed to address the ever pressing need to provide an assurance to consumers that the food they buy and consume is hormonally adequate, safe, and of good quality, passing regional as well as international standards akin to the Arroyo government’s commitment to pursue efforts that would help alleviate hunger and poverty as well as providing Filipinos with the social payback of the economic gains. (PIA 12) [top]

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