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  • NEWS

    28 March 2017                                                                      

    The Meat Importing Trade Supports and Provides Recommendations for the
    Government’s New Measure on Brazilian Meat

    The Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI) Group 8 (Food, Beverages & Tobacco) Vice-Chairman Eric Ng welcomes and supports the new measure on Brazilian meat announced by Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man today (Tuesday).

    Mr Ng says, “With the help and coordination from FHKI’s LegCo representative Andrew Leung and Legislator Jeffrey Lam, the Food and Health Bureau and Centre for Food Safety announced that they will confine the import ban to the 21 plants under investigation by Brazilian authorities. The trade welcomes the new measure and reckons that the Government has positively responded to the concerns of the industry. We hope that the relevant departments will continue to liaise with Brazilian authorities and adjust its policies on embargoes and bans in accordance to the latest development of the investigations, so as to safeguard food safety in Hong Kong and ensure stable food supply for the general public.”

    Mr Ng adds that the FHKI fully understands and supports the policies promulgated by the Government with respect to the import of Brazilian meat and agrees that ensuring food safety in the city being the first and foremost task, it stresses that the authorities should clearly explain their reasoning behind such provisions so as to avoid the dissemination of misleading information and causing public panic.

    He points out that it is crucial for the Government to maintain close communication and liaison with the trade, for gaining a better understanding on the operation of the industry, facilitating implementation of policy and minimising possible losses of the industry without compromising food safety standards. The industry itself is fully aware of the importance of food safety, which is vital for maintaining goodwill in the business.

    Mr Ng says that the Government could make use of various channels, such as collaboration on the government level, to obtain the latest and most accurate information on the incident. He believes that the industry is also willing to share with the Government with what they have in hand. To avoid creating unnecessary doubts among the public, the Government should disclose all information to increase transparency. This will also facilitate the trade and industries to adjust their business strategies and make the right decisions.
     
    He hopes that the Government would continue to adjust its measures in accordance to the development trend of the incident and should try to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. He also urges the industry to submit additional documentation or test reports from the meatpackers to the Centre for reference and examination. In order to eliminate consumers’ worries and protect Hong Kong’s food safety, the Government should also encourage importers to pay for their own product testing fees according to the Centre’s requirements, or ask the Centre to conduct random spot check on the products.
     
    The Government has embarked on developing Hong Kong as a smart city and to be able to function as one, Mr Ng suggests the Government to utilise technology and big data to comprehensively enhance the efficiency of food safety supervision, testing, tracing and recycling in the long term.
     

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