PETALING JAYA: Local durian sellers have said the Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (Sirim) certification for Musang King durian will burden their businesses and raise the price of the fruit.

They were commenting on a recent statement by Perak State Sirim director Mohd Adzhar Ahmad that the body is planning to implement its certification for the Musang King variant to ensure the fruit’s quality and stabilise its price.

The standards are being developed by the Perak state agriculture department and the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute. The accreditation is to be implemented before the end of this year.

Ah Hee, who is in charge of the Sinnaco Durian Specialist shop in Petaling Jaya, called the idea “silly” and said the certification would not ensure consistency of quality as its pulp is not the same from one fruit to another in terms of texture and taste.

“Producing the Musang King variant is a difficult process. It takes 20 to 30 years to grow a mature tree. Good weather, the right soil, fertilisers, and ample land is needed. Let’s say a different part of the farm has slightly different soil. Surely, the fruits from those trees will taste slightly different as well. This certification is meaningless for farmers and sellers.

“The fact is that even now, only 70% of Musang King that is produced is sold, while the rest is thrown away for failing to meet market standards.

If Sirim insists on its certification, then the actual production may drop to 30%. This will translate to even higher prices,” he told theSun.

Ah Hee said from farm to shop, sellers have already done thorough quality control for customers.

“It will be difficult to meet every certification requirement as we always ensure the taste is good considering the high prices customers pay.

“We cannot taste every fruit to ensure its quality. The natural taste of the variant is different from one fruit to another, and this is the result of the farmers’ experience.”

A roadside durian seller, who wished to be known only as Ling, said the certification is just an additional burden on sellers.

“If you put a lot of requirements and processes in place to sell Musang King, there will be less supply and prices will increase.

“Musang King is already expensive. We need to pay our suppliers, and when it comes to the customer, it is going to be way more expensive than it is now.”

The Consumer’s Association of Penang said it does not see any need to implement Sirim certification for Musang King durian.

“Consumers will not benefit from this idea. There are more important things that require Sirim certification, particularly things that affect the public, such as the electrical products we use or food we consume, ” said its president Mohideen Abdul Kader.

He added that the cost of Sirim certification will be passed on to consumers and this will certainly increase its price.