New route for South American citrus, grapes and blueberries to the U.S.

Thanks to a new pilot programme in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which counts with the participation of the Georgia Port Authority (GPA), consumers in the South East of the United States will be able to enjoy South American citrus, blueberries and grapes in a much quicker way.

"The South American fresh fruit intended for the South East market has traditionally been shipped to the northern ports of U.S.," said Curtis Foltz, GPA executive director, in a statement issued by the entity.

"The delivery through Savannah will entail that the fruit will not have to be transported by truck over such long distances to reach the South East markets, allowing for more fresh deliveries to shops and a longer shelf life for consumers," he added.

As reported by the GPA, from 1 September the Port of Savannah will begin distributing South American fruit that has been subjected to cold treatment. 

Under the USDA pilot programme, citrus, blueberries and grapes will be refrigerated for a period of at least 17 days before entering the U.S. in order to protect the country against fruit flies. The process will take place in the producer countries, including Chile, Peru and Brazil, or in transfer points, such as Panama. 

Besides allowing for faster product deliveries, the programme also reduces CO2 emissions and logistics costs, which could lead to lower prices for consumers. 

Cliff Pyron, GPA commercial director, explained that "we expect a successful test that results in a permanent and expanded programme to include new countries and more products." 

"Due to the fact that South America's production campaigns take place during the United States' off-season, these shipments are vital to keep fresh fruit and vegetables on the shelves all year round," he added. 

The Garden City Terminal in Savannah has a capacity for over 2,600 refrigerated containers.


Source: Fresh Fruit Portal

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