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Ministry To Meet Supermarket Owners Over GPL Comliance

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KEMAMAN – The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry will meet supermarket owners nationwide to ensure they adhered to the Grading, Packaging and Labelling (GPL) Regulations.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said through the meeting, which would be conducted by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama), the ministry would get feedback from supermarket owners on why they were facing difficulty in complying with the GPL.

“We will study (GPL) with all parties. First we want to discuss it with supermarket owners,” he said after officiating a state-level Farmers, Breeders and Fishermen’s Day at Dataran Kemaman here today.

He was commenting on Fama’s statement yesterday that it had issued 340 warning letters to exporters, importers, wholesalers and retailers of vegetables and fruits for failure to comply with the GPL nationwide since it came into force in July 2013 until last month.

Its Enforcement Division director, Mohd Nawawi Harun said Fama had also temporarily closed 22 supermarkets across the country since March as a result of their failure to comply with the GPL.

In the meantime, Ahmad Shabery called on all supermarkets to help farmers and entrepreneurs of small and medium enterprises in marketing their agricultural products which comply with the GPL.

He said the ministry received reports that there were supermarkets that have been marginalising local agricultural products even though it complied with the GPL and came in good packaging.

“There are also supermarkets that had placed the products at the back of the premises, apart from making late payments to farmers or wholesalers,” he said.

Ahmad Shabery also suggested fishermen related agencies and associations to provide special insurance schemes for coastal fishermen. – BERNAMA

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