Q&A with Dr Mike North on Exporting Across Borders – Part 2

International Port showing shipping containers and loading of a ship

Dr Mike North - A Food Science Specialist

As part of a successful commercial team at Taranaki Bio Extracts, Dr Mike North enjoys applying his knowledge to develop ingredient solutions for customers.  He’s worked as a Research Scientist/ Section Manager for large government-funded and commercial projects delivering substantial R&D outcomes. In recognition of his contributions to food science he was awarded the NZBIO ‘Emerging Biotechnologist of the Year’ (2007).

Q: How does compliance with packaging and labelling rules affect exporting food products?

A: Exported goods must adhere to specific standards in packaging and labelling according to the market they’re being sold in. For food products, compliance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code is necessary unless exempt. Additionally, understanding product names, label claims, and language requirements is crucial, as non-compliance could hinder market access.

Q: What is an Export Certificate and why is it important for exporters?

A: An  Export Certificate is an official assurance from MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) in New Zealand, confirming that a product meets the requirements set by the New Zealand Government and any other trade conditions for exporting to a specific overseas market. These overseas market access requirements (called OMARs) are agreed upon and documented by MPI and the market that the product is being exported to. An OMAR covers aspects such as raw materials, product naming, processing parameters, labeling, and definitions, varying for each market, country, or region.

Q: Why is an import permit necessary for customers interested in importing products?

A: Import permits may be essential for customers to be eligible to import products. However, they may not always know their eligibility status. Taranaki Bio Extracts assists prospective customers by directing them to contact their local authorities or equivalents to determine if they meet import requirements.

Q: How does communication play a pivotal role in the exporting process for Taranaki Bio Extracts?

A: Effective communication, particularly at the outset of dealings with prospective customers, is crucial. Providing comprehensive information early in the process enables Taranaki Bio Extracts to support customers effectively. This includes addressing queries regarding product eligibility for specific markets, ensuring compliance with OMARs and other relevant exporting requirements.