Chile: O'Higgins increases inspection of fruit for the US by 30%

According to calculations made at the Los Lirios inspection site, which guarantees that the fresh produce being sent to the US is free of pests and diseases, there's been a 30% increase in the inspections of fruit to be exported to the United States from the region of O'Higgins.

These days, there is a large increase in the inspection of stone fruits, i.e., peaches, nectarines and plums. Additionally, the cherry season is coming to an end.

The increase in activity for the US market is due to various factors, such as an increase in the seasonal fruit production, more favorable prices for certain products, and the exchange value of the dollar.

"We inspect between 50 and 80 samples daily. Each sample can be a container of fruit or refrigerated trucks that arrive to the ports to be shipped to the United States," said Christian Bravo, site inspection supervisor al Los Lirios.

Los Lirios inspects various fresh products, such as pears, apples, nectarines, peaches, cherries, apricots, plums, blueberries, avocados, onions, and, to a lesser extent, flowers.

"The fruit producers request the inspection service, then a SAG inspector randomly chooses a sample of the products to be exported and inspects it here. If the inspection is favorable, the SAG and the USDA approve sending the product to an output port in the country where it receives its plant health certification," the agronomist said.

The export program to the United States is one of the strictest and also includes an entomology laboratory to confirm or rule out quarantine pests detected during the inspection. "The level of rejection of the fruit inspected at the US borders amounts to 7 percent. According to the health authority, the fruit rejected is not negotiable and can not enter US territory," Bravo said.

Chile's total horticultural product export volume amounts to approximately 270 million cases, 40% of which come from the region of O'Higgins, hence the importance of the work done at the site located in the locality Los Lirios.


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