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Chile green lights the import of Peruvian Hass avocado without cold treatment

Chile's Ministry of Agriculture has approved the free access of Peruvian Hass avocados without cold treatment as had been requested by the Peru's Hass Avocado Committee, the Financial Times reported.

Luis Mayol, Chile's minister of agriculture, explained that they taken this decision because they hadn't had any virus events since the SAG begun preventive control.

"Chile has to respect its phytosanitary patrimony, but keeping in mind that it's an open country and that it has to be respectful of international market rules," he said.

"We have earned a huge reputation for being a serious country, which protects its health whilst meeting WTO international standards," he said and, in turn, justified the measure as the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) will continue taking action to prevent the spread of this pest.

"We have to be consistent and respectful of international trade rules," he said. "The United States has been exporting to Chile for the past 14 years and we've never had events. We mustn’t expose ourselves to a WTO panel," he added.

SAG 's decision was taken after a meeting between Mayol and the president of the Hass Avocado Committee, Aldolfo Ochagavía. The alternative proposed by the Hass Avocado Committee to submit a certification for 4% of the surface of avocados from Peru was also ruled out during the meeting.

The decision had already been taken as it wasn't being applied to the imports from other countries, such as Mexico and the United States, which wouldn't be willing to agree with this, he said.

The Committee's view
In turn, Adolfo Ochagavia, President of the Avocado Committee regretted the decision to allow imports of Peruvian avocados and expressed concern for the country's producers' orchard's integrity.

"We're very concerned. We were informed that they had already made a decision," said Ochagavía, justifying the measure against the entry of Peruvian products as a defence of the country's phytosanitary patrimony."

"We favour trade and we need foreign supply in low season," he said.


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