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Bean Ban Bombshell

New EU rules will outlaw
flying Kenyan veg into Manston, meaning fewer cargo night flights in 2013.

Thanks to the automated
cleverness of the web, I get a steady stream of more or less interesting stuff
from every corner of the globe. This little snippet is courtesy of the European
Commission, and I think I’ve managed to get the right end of this new bit of red

Since 2009, the European legislators
have been heroically protecting us from iffy food. The sort of things they look
out for should never form part of a balanced diet – Aflatoxins, Salmonella, Norovirus,
Hepatitis A, Pesticide residues, Aluminium and suchlike.

Anything that they’ve spotted
as being a potential problem – specific foods from specific countries – goes on
a watch
. The watch list is periodically reviewed, with items being added and
removed, or having the testing frequency adjusted.

Two of the
latest additions to this watch list
are peas and beans (in the pod) from
Kenya, the cause of concern being pesticide residues  (in
particular residues of: Dimethoate (Sum), Chlorpyriphos, Acephate,
Methamidophos, Methomyl, Diafenthiuron, Indoxacarb).
It doesn’t appear to
be a screaming dib-dabs panic, as they only plan to test 10% of imports – the
lowest level of inspection. These additions to the watch list were published on
12th Dec 2012 and come into effect on 1st Jan 2013.

So what? Well, I’ve heard
many descriptions of the freight flown into Manston – cut flowers, fruit salads
– but a recurring feature has always been Kenyan green beans. This is what
Cargolux and others are flying in when they arrive in the small hours, in yet
another unexpected late arrival.

Watch list items can only be
imported through Designated Entry Points – DEPs are the ports and airports that
have the Food Standard Agency (FSA) approved facilities for randomly testing the
agreed percentage of imports.

Manston is not a Designated Entry

These are the UK’s current DEPs:
Belfast port, Felixstowe port, Gatwick
, Grimsby and Immingham port, Harwich port, Heathrow airport, Hull and Goole port, Liverpool port, London
Thamesport, London Tilbury port, Manchester airport, Port of Bristol, Port of
Tyne, Portsmouth port, Sheerness port, Southampton port, Stansted airport, Teesport.

This seems to mean that as of
1st January next year, Kenyan peas and beans (in the pod) can’t be
flown into Manston – unless/until the airport is FSA approved. The FSA website
site has a handy application
, if Infratil are thinking of taking that route.

Of course, all of this is
exactly the sort of thing that most modern businesses prepare for through contingency
planning, risk registers, SWOT analysis, and so on. Manston’s business plan
should be able to deal with one income stream drying up.

With a bit of luck though, we’ll
be getting fewer night flights while Charles Buchanan manages this unexpected opportunity.

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No comments

  1. Excellent news! Looks like Charles Buchanan’s fortunes won’t pan out as well as Jack and the Beanstalk’s.

  2. ooh that did tickle my fancy Mrs. Gabriel!

  3. Ramsgatedude

    Looks like Manston has DPE status, so flights will continue as usual, and now more than likely more flights will come through with this new status.

  4. "Manston has DPE status" – do you have a source/link for that?

  5. Kent Resident

    Same old story really, and talk about flogging a dead horse ! The catchment area for Manston is very limited as it is almost completely surrounded by sea. One way in and one way out. It is easier to travel to Gatwick or Heathrow for most of Kent than to come here. No messing about with restricted flights to Amsterdam then waiting for connections at greater expense either. Please stop holding Thanet back from regenerating year after year with fanciful talk of great things to come from the airstrip. Unless we are going to war with our neighbours over the Channel, there is not much need for this waste of space. Nobody wants to come here anyway. Why would they ? Build something on the land that will regenerate Thanet and encourage Tourism back.