Four honey producers from Latvia are currently approved for exports.
There has been no serious export of honey to China from Latvia until now, but for many years a number of honey producers have expressed interest in this market. After nearly five years of negotiations this autumn, the Food and Veterinary Service agreed the veterinary certificate for honey exports with the competent Chinese supervisory service. An agreement has been reached on terms of trade and the inclusion of certain companies in the list of exporters. PVD Director of International Trade Ērika Pauliņa said that those who want to export honey to China must arrange the authorizations, which may take a long time.
“In any case, China is not an easy market and for those who want to export, it has to be understood that this process is time-consuming. China is evaluating each country and it is a long-term project if any company is thinking of exporting. We currently have four Latvian companies approved, which from 1 September can already export to China,” said Pauliņa.
The export opportunities for other food products have previously been agreed with China. Currently 16 companies can export dairy products to China, 30 - fish products, and two local companies can export beef.
“We cannot be very visible exporters in China's vast market, but it is an important opportunity for us, because it is economically viable for the country when it comes to export opportunities,” said Pauliņa.
Around 3,000 beekeepers are registered in Latvia. Juris Šteiselis, representative of the beekeeping association, said that the Chinese market is a long-awaited event for beekeepers in Latvia and is likely to reduce the overproduction of honey on the domestic market.