Hafed had exported small quantities of basmati rice to Australia, UK and UAE in 2007 but now for the first time it has exported basmati to US under its own brand name. So far about 100 tonne have been exported to the US in five consignments. To boost ties with US, Hafed has appointed its own distributor thereTouch International Inc.
The concerned Hafed official told FE, The agreement with the distributor was signed in August 2009, though the volumes of exports are low but they will eventually pick up. Since for exporting to US first five consignments are routed through the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). Once all the five consignments clear the stringent norms of FDA a license is issued to directly export the basmati rice through the distributor. Four of our consignments have already cleared the FDA tests and the fifth one is on hold. We are expecting its clearance within a week.
He added, The exports to US started in April this year and once we export successfully to the US market, we are confident of exporting to other countries as well. Canada is also in pipeline for basmati exports.
Hafed had exported 626.5 tonne basmati rice to Australia and Saudi Arabia in 2007-08 season for a value of Rs 3.20 crore; in 2008-09 it exported 526 tonne to UK and Australia for Rs 3.34 crore and in 2009-10 about 253 tonne of rice was exported to Dubai for a value of Rs 1.38 crore. This year the five consignments of basmati rice sent to US are valued at Rs 50 lakh.
Our basmati export volumes remain low due to competition from the private players who accept to deliver the goods on credit basis. Purity of the product also affects the price and as per the SGS laboratories tests our goods have around 95% purity, said the official.