February 8, 2024


Fresh chickens from mainland China return to Macao supermarkets


In preparation for the upcoming Chinese New Year, fresh chickens from mainland China have made their return to Macao supermarkets, ensuring a plentiful supply for the festive season, China Daily reported.


This marks the resumption of trade in live and fresh poultry from the mainland to the Macao Special Administrative Region after its suspension in 2017 as a precaution against bird flu transmission.


The term "fresh poultry" denotes products offered for sale on the day of slaughter, emphasising the commitment to delivering quality and freshness to consumers. To support this initiative, customs authorities in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, have pledged their support to enterprises, aiding in the preparation of an adequate supply and the expansion of production capacity to meet Macao's demand for fresh food.


Efforts to streamline the process have been evident, with customs authorities in Guangdong and Macao collaborating on rapid border-crossing and priority inspection and quarantine procedures. This coordination ensures that fresh chickens arrive in Macao markets within one and a half hours after leaving factories, maintaining their quality and freshness throughout the supply chain.


Huan Ping, director of the import and export food safety department of Gongbei customs in Zhuhai, said efficiency is important in every stage of the process, from slaughtering and processing to transportation and customs clearance. With a shelf life of 24 hours, the swift handling of fresh chickens is paramount, necessitating stringent controls and monitoring.


Companies have the option to supply fresh chickens to Macao through either the Gongbei port or the Zhuhai port, with special monitoring plans in place to ensure compliance with hygiene standards and labelling requirements. These measures, coupled with various customs facilitation initiatives, aim to minimize transportation and distribution time, ensuring a smooth supply chain for fresh poultry to Macao.


Gongbei customs plays a pivotal role in supplying poultry, meat, and seafood to Macao, with over 10,000 metric tonnes of such products supplied annually, according to Huan. To enhance consumer confidence and ease product identification, fresh chickens destined for Macao are labelled with the date of slaughter, along with other essential product information.


Cheong Kuai Tat, head of the Department of Food Safety of the Municipal Affairs Bureau, noted the enduring demand for fresh chickens from the mainland among Hong Kong and Macao residents, underscoring the importance of this trade resumption in meeting traditional dietary preferences and ensuring food security.


-      China Daily