A local problem between Honduran farmers and pasteurizing plants due to the price at which they purchase milk could be the reason behind the block on Nicaraguan dairy products.
Trinchera.com.ni reports that according to the National Federation of Ranchers and Farmers of Honduras (FENAGH), closing the border to milk and dairy products from Nicaragua will continue until there is a resolution to the problem between pasteurizing plants and dairy farmers, who have denounced the low prices paid for the product in plants.
It is estimated that "the worst of the crisis" in international milk prices could be ending this year, with better levels starting to be established in 2017.
In an event held in Managua, experts from the Pan American Dairy Federation (FEPALE), explained the trend seen in the international price of milk and the effect it has had on exports from countries such as Nicaragua, which ranks as the fourth largest exporter of milk and dairy products in Latin America.
In 2015 Nicaragua led exports of milk and milk products in the region, with $200 million in sales, followed by Costa Rica, which exported $111 million and thirdly Honduras, with $26 million.
Data from for the Milk and Dairy Products Market in Central America, provided by the Business Intelligence unit at CentralAmericaData.com, shows that in 2015 the countries in the region exported 226 thousand tons of milk and dairy products such as cheese and cottage cheese, buttermilk, yogurt, curd and dairy spreads, among others.
The health authorities have announced that they have reached an agreement, but no dates or deadlines have been set to resume sales of the product between the two countries.
Theagreement announcedby the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica and theInstitute for Protection and Agricultural in Nicaragua only mentions assessments to be made in plants belonging to the companies Dos Pinos and Grupo Lala, but does not mention dates on which they will be carried out or deadlines for the resumption of bilateral trade in milk.
In Nicaragua evaluation will be given to the solutions proposed by Dos Pinos regarding noncompliance detected in the plant and Costa Rica will be provided with a list of suppliers to LALA dairy farms that meet the standards.
From a statement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in Costa Rica:
After two days of work between the technical teams of the National Animal Health Service (SENASA) at the Ministry of Agriculture and the Institute for Protection and Animal Health (IPSA) in Nicaragua, Nicaragua and Costa Rica have reached an agreement on resolving the issues of noncompliance found in dairy plants in both countries.
The transaction, which was carried out in 2015, was not announced at the time in Costa Rica, where high production costs have prompted several companies to move their operations to Nicaragua.
In 2015 the Costa Rican dairy producer Dos Pinos bought the industrial plant La Completa for an undisclosed amount.Dos Pinos is a cooperative network made up of more than 2,000 associated producers and workers.
Health authorities in Costa Rica have confirmed that since May they have prevented the entry of products from two dairy plants belonging to the Mexican company Lala in Nicaragua.
After information was circulated about the alleged closure of the Nicaraguan market to dairy products from three companies in Costa Rica, the health authorities of this country have acknowledged that since May 2016 they have restricted the entry of Lala's dairy products , having detected".. . several examples of "non - compliance" in the production system of the two plants inspected. "
Nicaraguan health authorities have restricted access to products elaborated by the Costa Rican company Dos Pinos and two other companies for failing to obtain health certification for their processing plants.
In a circular apparently issued by the company Dos Pinos, the entity may have indicated to its customers that due to non-renewal of health certificates for the industrializing plant they may not be able to continue expending their products until the situation has been resolved.This is the version stated by Laprensa.com.ni, who also explained that the Country manager at Dos Pinos in Nicaragua, Oswaldo Gonzalez Quijano said in the document"... The measure taken by the Government of Nicaragua 'has no technical basis'."
Arguing the imposition of non-tariff barriers, Centrolac has filed with the Central American Court of Justice a claim against Honduras because it prevented Nicaraguan milk from entering the country.
Although the Honduran government insists that restricting the entry of milk from Nicaragua is strictly in adherence to sanitary measures, Nicaraguan producers and exporters maintain their position and are demanding that the government take retaliatory measures against Honduras. Therefore, the company Centrolac presented on May 10 a lawsuit with the Central American Court of Justice, denouncing the closure of borders and accusing the country "... of contravening Community law".
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