The intended use of your product may vary depending on the country. That’s also applicable to the underlying legal criteria. It’s up to you to deepen on the subject to avoid misunderstandings with your customer or with the authorities.
If the usage is different from the intended one, the product characteristics may change drastically. The food safety may come into question, because the product is maintained under other conditions. Consumer groups with divers sensibilities may consume your product.
Some examples to give you an idea of which problems may arise:
- A product which is presented at room temperature, may be considered as a refrigerated product in the export country.
- The conservation temperatures may differ by country. That’s the case for the refrigeration temperature as well as for the room temperature.
- The instructions may differ for the generally accepted preparation and/or use.
- The ambient temperature may be substantially higher or lower, changing the physical aspects in a significant way.
- In the export country your product is consumed also by aged people or by children younger than 3 years.
On the above mentioned cases, one can easily avoid these consequences. Some modifications of the HACCP system, of the label information or of the product formulation may be necessary. How can we find these differences, when we are not supplying this new market yet?
- Thanks to an intensive contact with the sales department. Do you have an appointment with a new export client? Involve directly the quality department.
- Make targeted research and use the internet.
- Write a short questionnaire for your export customer. Look how the product is prepared and used elsewhere. Compare local customs and those of the exporting country.
- Study which consequences it will have for your HACCP system, the labelling requirements and your product.
- Modify the HACCP study and your product (being aware of the requirements in the exporting country). Inform your customer about these modifications.
- Adapt the product specifications and the labels, also in a narrow collaboration with the customer.
When these steps are taken seriously, problems during export will be avoided. Once your products are produced, labelled and shipped, it will be too late, because nothing can be changed anymore.
It’s essential to do everything correctly in one go. It will save you a lot of time and money. The resources can be put in place for the export success. Export to more countries while developing knowledge. All this can strengthen your competitive position.