Steps will be taken to amend the Food Act to suit the present times and also support the food processing industry which has enormous potential, State Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe told the 10th Exporters Forum at the Export Development Board (EDB) recently.
The Minister was responding to issues raised by meat processors with regard to the excessive time taken to test the quality of food before processing for exports. He said it is time to amend the Food Act which is around 30 years old. The time taken to complete the tests and then process food is too long. It should be done within 10 days as in other countries. “A meeting comprising stakeholders of the food processing industry and quality certifying institutions will be held shortly to solve the issue,” the Minister said.
The Government is preparing to revamp entreport schemes for re-exporting key spices from Sri Lanka including pepper, cloves, nutmeg and mace to protect Sri Lanka’s reputation for quality while banning cinnamon imports.
The proposal spearheaded by the Primary Industries Ministry has already received Cabinet approval and aims to put in place several fresh policies to ensure that spices re-exported from Colombo port are not diluted or incorrectly labelled as originating from Sri Lanka.