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India sets new quality standards in the global potato trade

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Indian representative led the new standard for potatoes at a joint meeting of international organisations in Mexico. The Commission for the Codex Alimentarius Guidelines (a collection of food safety and product quality standards of the United Nations), composed of members of the FAO and WHO, has adopted the new standard proposed by India. The standard and the guidelines for potatoes will contribute to greater safety, quality and fairness in international trade, says Indian Agriculture Commissioner Malhotra. In addition to protecting consumers from inferior food, these standards can now also be used as a reference for any disputes in international trade chaired by the WTO.

potato trade
There is currently a wide range of shapes and colours of tubers on offer. The new standard defines the quality, size, minimum requirements and tolerances for each variety and grade. Potatoes are grown in more than 100 countries worldwide and produce 380 million tonnes annually, half of which is for fresh consumption. The underground tuber fruit provides safe and reliable nutrition for millions of people in South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. India produced about 53 million tonnes of potatoes in 2018-19 and exported about 350,000 tonnes, which corresponds to a trade value of the equivalent of 50 million US dollars.

Meanwhile, in its study “World Potato Map 2019”, the Dutch Rabobank analysed the worldwide trade in potatoes as food and seed potatoes. In the frozen processed potato products segment, the trade volume has more than doubled in the last 10 years. The volume increased from 3 million tonnes in 2007 to over 7 million tonnes in 2017. The strongest growth was in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, with four main producers: the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and the USA. For seed potatoes, the Netherlands increased its exports to 1 million tonnes in 2017, with half of domestic production going to export. Other European countries such as France and Germany were also able to increase their exports, while analysts also see opportunities for regions in North America and Asia to establish seed tuber production due to the limited acreage in Europe. The main share of fresh potatoes is traded in Europe, with the Netherlands and Belgium again the main markets. However, the importance of countries such as China, Pakistan, India and Egypt is also growing.

As the largest European potato exporting nations, the Netherlands and Belgium are now obliged by the new standards to apply the same rules and guidelines as their competitors. In India, the BIS standardization body is responsible for monitoring food quality standards. We, India Certification, happily advise you on the certification of your products and accompany you throughout the approval process through local branches.

For more information on how India certification could affect your company or concrete information on BIS certification, please visit our website and our news section.

Since 2005, the MPR International GmbH has been helping companies around the world obtain certifications for the Chinese and Indian markets. If you would like more Information regarding the certifications, please visit our website or contact us via email or phone +49 69 271 376 9261.

You can also take a look at our free India certification brochures, which you can download here as PDF files.

Julian Busch

About the author: Julian Busch is the founder and managing director of MPR International GmbH

Publisher: MPR International GmbH

Tel.: +49 69 271 37 69 261

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