Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Feb 4, 2019 18:51:10 GMT 1
Okra is the fruit of the plant Abelmoschus esculentus also known as lady’s finger or gombo. Okra can be produced in both tropical or sub-tropical climates. The seed pods are green or red and can grow up to 18 cm long.
Okra is expected to become more mainstream, providing opportunities for exporters from developing countries.
Okra Global Market
In Europe, okra is not a main vegetable for which fierce production is common, they rely on significant import. This improves the position of exporters from developing countries.
In the European market, okra is consumed mostly by African, Caribbean and Asian communities. It is a popular vegetable in Indian communities, it is used in various recipes. Caribbean communities use okra mostly in soups. However, the major market for okra and other Asian vegetables is the United Kingdom.
Okra is mainly imported by the UK, France, the Netherlands, and Italy. France and the United Kingdom are the largest markets, due to their significant large African and Asian populations. The Netherlands is a re-exporter of the product to other European countries.
Okra is highly perishable so it is to be packed in a way that properly protects the product for export.
The materials used inside the package must be clean and of a quality such as to avoid causing any external or internal damage to the produce.
All pods meeting the size specifications can be loose packed into cartons.
Sacks or bags are not to be used as these incur damage and cause heat build-up. Packages must be free of all
The usual packing is 4-5 kg cartons with ventilation holes to prevent overheating, because okra exhibits exceedingly high rates of respirations, which generates a large production of heat and results in rapid deterioration.
Net weights are dependent on the importers’ requirements and vary.
Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 establishes the general principles, requirements and responsibilities governing food information, and in particular food labelling to protect the right for consumers in the EU to access useful and appropriate information.
The labelling of food products must correctly bear the following:
- Information about the shipper
- Class and size of the product.
- Nature of the product
- Country of origin of the product
- Traceability code
Note that the printing or labelling should be done with non-toxic ink or glue and stickers individually affixed to the produce should be such that, when removed, they neither leave visible traces of glue, nor lead to skin defects.
In the market of ethnic food shops, the non-legal requirements such as GLOBALG.A.P. are not yet a must-have requirement, so this gives new exporters opportunities to enter the market without investing in certification schemes. However, food safety remain a key issue. The importers and traders of vegetables dictate requirements and switch easily to other suppliers if not satisfied about supplied quality or quantity.