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Quarantine authorities advance cooperation to ensure food safety in HK

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-29 22:11

The deputy director of the Guangdong Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau has confirmed Guangdong quality inspection and quarantine authorities will further advance cooperation, as well as exchanges, with their Hong Kong counterparts to ensure the safety of food and agricultural products the province provides to Hong Kong.

Meng Chuanjin, who released the information on Thursday, said mutual visits of officials from both sides would also be increased.

"The move aims to ensure only quality food and agricultural products are sold to Hong Kong," he said while at a press conference in Guangzhou.

Meng added both sides would further promote the confirmation of quality standards for the supply of food and agricultural products to Hong Kong.

"Guangdong and Hong Kong have worked closely, and have achieved progress in ensuring the safe supply of food and agricultural products to Hong Kong in the past two decades," he said.

"More than 100 mutual visits have annually been organized to improve mutual understanding and exchanges of inspection and quarantine methods, as well as measures in the past few years."

Meng mentioned senior officials from the HKSAR government, such as Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man, have visited Guangdong on a number of occasions to seek the expansion of cooperation in inspection and quarantine between the two regions.

He said his bureau would further improve its work to better serve local companies to help boost the export of higher quality foods and agricultural products, coming into Hong Kong in the next few years.

From January to May this year, Guangdong province sold more than 629,000 tons of food and agricultural products valued at more than $1.19 billion to Hong Kong, according to official data. The amount included 50,000 tons of frozen meats valued at $160 million, 250,000 tons of vegetables worth $80 million, 107,000 tons of deep processed food valued at $160 million, 410,000 live pigs valued at $115 million, and 23,100 tons of aquatic products worth $116 million.

In the past 20 years, Guangdong has supplied more than 30 million tons of different kinds of food and agricultural products to Hong Kong.

According to the Guangdong Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, a total of 650 food processing firms, along with more than 800 vegetable and domestic animal farms, in Guangdong have been authorized to provide their products and live domestic animals to Hong Kong.

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