Dairy Industry: Conflict between Guatemala and Honduras

Guatemalan producers say the Honduran authorities refuse to inspect their plants, preventing them from exporting milk to that market, so they ask the Guatemalan Ministry of Economy to apply reciprocal measures.

Monday, November 25, 2019

According to the directors of the Dairy Development Association (Asodel) and the Chamber of Dairy Producers of Guatemala, with the aim of authorizing sanitary permits, a year ago they waited for the National Agrifood Health and Safety Service (Senasa) of Honduras to visit the production plants, but the Honduran authorities refused to do so.

You may be interested in "Dairy: Regional Trade Figures up to March 2019"

Luis Leal Monterroso, president of the Dairy Chamber of Guatemala, told Prensalibre.com that "... Mineco was asked to intervene to apply reciprocity, since only other dairy products are being entered, but milk is not allowed to be sold to Honduras because it does not have plant inspection certificates. If there is no satisfactory solution, other measures can be taken."

The article adds that "... According to the Central American Technical Regulations (RTCA), inspection requests should not take more than 60 days to determine compliance with good manufacturing practices and food safety. However, Senasa's employees have not visited the plants in the country despite having submitted the applications 12 months ago."

It is estimated that on average, Guatemala produces 1.6 million liters of milk per day that supplies the domestic market.

According to reports from CentralAmericaData, during 2018 trade in milk and dairy products between the countries of the region totaled $314 million, and the main exporter continued to be Nicaragua, with $133 million, followed by Costa Rica, with $117 million, El Salvador, with $27 million, Honduras, with $25 million, Panama with $10 million and Guatemala, with $2 million.

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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.

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From a statement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in Costa Rica:

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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. "

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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'."

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