The first licence for UK organic exports to China has been awarded via the partnership between Soil Association Certification and China’s certification body, OFDC (Organic Food Development and Certification Centre of China).
Soil Association Certification agreed the partnership in April 2014 to facilitate the export of organic products to China, and enables its licensees to reach a market estimated to be worth $9 billion by the end of 2015.
OMSCo (the Organic Milk Suppliers Co-operative) is the first to receive the licence and is now able to supply Chinese certified milk to organic processors wanting to export to China. Demand for organic products in China is high, with organic dairy products are especially popular following recent food scares. The initial certification for OMSCo covers 15 million litres of organic milk, worth between £7 and £10m.
Emma Yeats from Soil Association Certification said: “This certificate is a great achievement for all involved – we’ve been working closely with the OFDC since we set up the partnership last year and are really pleased to present the first Chinese certification to OMSCo. The organic application process is more complex and the regulations differ to those of the EU. Through our partnership with OFDC we helped make the certification process more efficient offering technical support every step of the way, enabling our customers to gain certification and find new export opportunities in this rapidly developing market. Our unique export support service is available to all of our customers.”
Richard Hampton, managing director of Organic Milk Suppliers Co-operative Ltd (OMSCo) said: “I’m overjoyed that we have reached this landmark. This partnership helps enormously with the rollout of our organic dairy products to customers who need quality organic dairy ingredients for their products destined for the Chinese market. The partnership also means we can adapt and expand the accreditation quickly and easily in the future to meet the ongoing needs of our customers”