Keeping and maintaining exported agricultural products (also known as perishable products) in excellent condition until it arrives at its destination is not an easy task. It requires an adequate planning, quality and compliance system throughout the entire process.
Exportation of goods can be complicated and more so when it comes to sensitive products, such as perishable goods. But putting certain factors into consideration will help make the process seamless and smooth.
Perishable goods in this context are plant products (berries, fruits, vegetables, etc.), products of animal origin (meat, fish, milk, etc.), food processing (fats, cheeses, dairy products) and living plants.
There are many factors to consider when exporting perishable goods. A few of them are:
1. Standard Inspection
Standard inspection is one major factor to consider when exporting perishable goods. It must be carried out from the point of harvest to the point of distribution. The aim of carrying out thorough inspection is to ensure that the farm products are in perfect condition.
2. Choose the Right Mode of Transportation
Ocean or air freight transportation is your best option for exporting not only perishable goods but any other goods depending on the perishability and value of the products.
Both the ocean and air freight transportation have controlled-temperature systems that have been put in place to keep products safe and fresh.
3. Plan the Route and Schedule.
Planning the best route and creating a proper schedule for exporting your perishable goods at the shortest possible time saves you from unnecessary difficulties and also prevents the goods from getting compromised.
Perishable goods have a limited shelf life and this means that they can rot or spoil during the shipping process, so it’s important that there’s no delay along the way.
4. Compliance Requirements
Adhering to the compliance requirements is a major factor to consider when exporting fresh and perishable products to various regions.
There are regions that are very particular and demanding when it comes to the safety of their foods, regions such as Europe and the US.
When dealing with fresh agricultural products, there are various requirements that these products must be subject to. Some of the major requirements are:
- Labeling & Packaging: Packages of fresh produce must include information such as the name and the address of the packer or the dispatchers; the name of the produce; country of origin; and the lot number for traceability.
- Limited use of pesticides: Agricultural products that contain more pesticides than normal i.e., above the maximum residue levels (MRLs) are usually withdrawn from the market.
It is important to know the best way to transport your perishable goods and the factors to put to consideration.
Apart from non-perishable products, products that are perishable are some of the most common types of products being exported on a daily basis. And since there is a need to keep them fresh at all times, understanding the procedures on how to preserve and transport them without complications plays a vital role in the success of your export business.
photo credit: foodlogistics