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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 10:43, August 13, 2006
China's leading tea exporter feels pressure under strict EU, Japanese rules
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China's largest green tea producer and exporter, Zhejiang Province, is feeling pressure under the strict food import standards set by Japan and the European Union.

So far this year, the province has found 1,202 tons of tea that fails to reach the Japanese and EU standards, and kept the products from being exported.

The major problems are higher content of pesticide residues and poor quality, according to the provincial entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureau.

Zhejiang exports 200,000 tons of tea a year. The output value of its tea industry accounts for one-third of the country's total. Its green tea export makes up 70 percent of the country's total.

With the implementation of a new regulation in May this year, Japan imposes about 50,000 new standards on imported food products, increasing chemical residue limits from 83 to 276.

The EU regulations, effective last August, also raised the standards for chemical residues on food products including tea.

About one-third of China's food exports go to neighboring Japan, with another 10 percent sold to EU countries, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Last year, China exported 79.8 million U.S. dollars worth of tea to Japan.

The Zhejiang provincial entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureau has called for improved management of agricultural chemicals and strict implementation of regulations on tea export.

The provincial authorities have vowed to punished companies and individuals involved in adulteration and pigmentation during the processing of tea or producing tea with excessive chemical residues.

Source: Xinhua

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