While in storage or during transportation, a sound cold chain is the key to preserve and guarantee quality and healthy consumption of fresh agri-food products. Currently, the FAO estimates that one-third of food produce is never eaten and lost as food waste. This is caused by a variety of reasons. However, effective cold chains is one key measure in order to reduce fresh food waste. This is especially important in a time of agriculture value chain disruptions and local food shortages.

Against this background, the Support of Regional Economic Cooperation in Asia (SRECA) project and the China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQA) planned a training series for the four SRECA focus countries Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia and Vietnam on the topic. The training series is part of triangular approaches in the area of agri-market access to China and the EU with CIQA and the sequa Import Promotion Desk (IPD).

SRECA & CIQA moderate and give inputs in the training

The first training on Cold Chain Management and Agri-exports to China for delegates of Vietnam was held in a hybrid format on 11 August 2022. Around 30 participants from Vietnam working in supply chain management, logistics enterprises, and academic institutions in the field of trade attended the training while CIQA experts presented online.

The half-day training consists of two thematic sessions. First, Mr. Jiao Yang, the Director of the technical barriers to trade (TBT) Research Department at the Research Center of International Inspection and Quarantine Standards and Technical Regulations of the General Administration of China Customs (GACC) introduced the policies of agri-food imports along the cold chain during and post Covid-19 pandemic. He emphasised on the technical standards and guidance documents by GACC for foreign exporters to incorporate Covid-virus prevention of their products, product packaging and the relevant handling of staff. Participants from Vietnam raised questions regarding the usage of the China Import Food Enterprises Registration System, and the modalities to gain latest up-to-date information on China’s import policies. Mr. Jiao suggested the participants to visit the GACC Registration Single Window E-systems and keep close attention to China Customs official website.

In the second session, Dr. Wang Qingna from Xiamen Guang Pu Electronic Company limited introduced outer package disinfection technology for cold chain food products. She specifically shared information on ultraviolet disinfection technology and electron beam disinfection technology. Participants discussed specifically with her on how these technologies influence the imports of China’s cold chain food products.

For participants’ queries regarding the exportation of specific cold chain products to China, they are encouraged to reach out to CIQA and SRECA for further discussions. More information can also be found in the concept note of the training. The training series will continue with Cambodia on 30 August 2022.