Pakistani fruits, vegetables and dairy products will now be available on the shelves of European stores with pride says Mr. Mohammad Nasir Shaikh, a beneficiary of the “International Export Compliance Certification Program”.
The statement endorses the vision of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Agribusiness Project to increase the competitiveness of Pakistani horticulture and livestock value chains.
Nasir Shaikh, a 50 years old businessman started his business in 1977 as a Fruit and Vegetable Commission Agent. He is a seasoned exporter, and his company SHAIKH INTERNATIONAL EXPORTERS is into the export business since 1991. Possessing a great deal of business intellect due to his worldwide exposure of international market, Mr. Nasir considers this certification not less than a blessing. As according to him the unfortunate scenario he has been witnessing since long was that the Authorities of International Markets were not a party so far. Though Pakistani products were being exported to all over the Europe and were consumed by the Pakistani and other Asian populations but the international direct and indirect stakeholders never used to bother, considering that the products does not meet the International Certification Standards, hence not quality wise worth it. He also adds that despite having very good relationship with the buyers in international market, we the Pakistani Exporters were not able to strike any credible deal.
Mr. Nasir with great hope in his eyes anticipates that it’s a new beginning as now the rules of the game changes, and this International Compliance Certification accredited by globally renowned entities i.e. British Retailers Consortium (BRC), International Featured Standards (IFS) and Global.G.A.P. will enable us to penetrate into the mainstream International Markets with full zeal. Also the certification will help us to increase our sales figures in the local markets. He further Added, The Agribusiness Project led initiative will increase the total export figures of Pakistan and as a specimen he shared his expected sales forecast in the following manner.
First of all we will manage to strike deals with potential buyers and retailer stores such as ASDA Bolton Super Store, Morrison Super Store etc. with whom earlier as well we had good working relationships but due to lack of certifications they were hesitant to sign in for a credible deal. Now after capitalizing on these buyers and many more all over Europe Markets SHAIKH INTERNATIONAL EXPORTERS foresees a big jump in the Return on Investment. Regarding his future fruits and vegetable deals, the sales push through this certification is expected to be of 80,000 KGs of additional sales that will account for PKR 15 Million for the next 3 months.
The significance of the certification is not to be measured in financial terms only, as Mr. Nasir reflects that there is a multiplier effect on his business as he and his workforce is fully aware of standardization of processes, identification and control of potential hazards, Understanding of legal commitments to food safety and audit compliance, traceability of the product, knowledge of International Best Practices ultimately promising an immense positive impact on sales and profitability of the agro processing sector, locally and abroad, through improved safety and quality management measures.
The entrepreneur concluded by expressing a gesture of gratitude to the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF) for making it possible.
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