Friday 02 December 2022 - 10:12:59 am

Ministry of Climate Change and Environment issues Resolution on Local Produce Safety

DUBAI, 13th September, 2021 (WAM) -- The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) has issued resolution No. 213 of 2021 on enhancing the safety of local agricultural products.

Targeting local farms, fruit and vegetable markets, outlets, retailers, and food-processing establishments, the resolution complies with the standard UAE.S MRL 1/2019 on maximum residue limits (MRL) for pesticides in agricultural and food products.

Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said, "In line with MoCCAE’s commitment to enhancing food safety in the UAE and ensuring only top-rated food products are traded in local markets, we have implemented an integrated set of processes to monitor and ensure the safety of imported foods. These include issuing effective regulations, such as Federal Law No. 10 of 2015 on food safety, raising the efficiency of food-testing laboratories and quarantine facilities at border crossings through providing them with state-of-the-art testing equipment, deploying higher numbers of veterinarians and technicians, and increasing their capacities."

He noted that the new resolution seeks to build consumers’ trust in homegrown produce to increase demand, as well as boost its competitiveness, paving the way for it to enter international markets.

MoCCAE will work closely with the concerned local authorities to ensure the implementation of and compliance with the resolution among target groups.

The resolution mandates farmers to register their agricultural holdings with MoCCAE or the concerned local government entities. In addition, they must safely use and store pesticides as per the instructions on the container, keep invoices of pesticide purchases, stick to the preharvest interval (PHI) – the wait time between applying a pesticide and harvesting the crops, and properly dispose of empty pesticide containers and leftovers.

Moreover, farmers must use clean, pest- and mold-free packaging for their fruits and vegetables, and provide records of products that they supply to the markets.

As per the resolution, establishments must source their local produce from the list of farms approved by MoCCAE and concerned authorities, keep a log of goods bought and provide the Ministry and the relevant local authority with a copy, and keep a supplier record for five years. They must also inform the Ministry and the local authority of any products found in violation of the resolution, and receive agricultural products in clean packaging containing product information – name, producing farm and its address, weight, and any other data requested by the local authority.

Furthermore, the resolution stipulates that local government authorities are responsible for overseeing the implementation of and compliance with its provisions. They are also tasked with testing local produce to ensure its safety and compliance with UAE.S MRL 1/2019.

The resolution states that penalties for violations of its provisions are set in accordance with Federal Law No. 10 of 2015 on food safety and its executive regulations, and Federal Law No. 10 of 2020 on pesticides.

In addition, unlicensed hawkers are prohibited from trading in agricultural products.

WAM/Hazem Hussein/Amjad Saleh