The Port of Barranquilla is Colombia's outlet to export sweet citrus. According to the Health Information System for Import and Export of Agricultural and Livestock Products (Sispa), between January and September of this year, 212,08 tons of Tahiti lime and orange fruits were shipped through the Port of Barranquilla to five international destinations.
The Port of Barranquilla Port Society is currently the only port in Colombia that has been authorized to export citrus fruits by the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA), as it meets the requirements made by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, APHIS, of the United States.
Colombia has sent three shipment of sweet citrus grown in the Eje Cafetero and Valle del Cauca to the US. One of this shipments was shipped out last Monday and contained 23 tons of sweet citrus.
The Minister of Agriculture, Andres Valencia, said that with this cargo the country had shipped 68.5 tons of citrus to the North American market since August, when it made its first export to that country.
This export was sent to the port of San Juan of Puerto Rico, after complying with the established requirements, such as the cold quarantine treatment, which was verified by ICA experts.
To export, producers must comply with the Operational Work Plan (POT) signed between the ICA and the US health authorities. Among other requirements, producers must comply with pest management, collection, transportation, packing, harvesting, and post-harvest standards, as well as have a phytosanitary certificate.
The company that exported the fruit was Frutas Las Lajas, from Zarzal, Valle del Cauca, which is 1,050 kilometers away from Barranquilla.
The citrus fruits grown in the Caribbean region can't be exported. According to the ICA, the citrus fruits grown in the Caribbean Coast currently can't be exported because they are affected by the HLB disease, which is being eradicated.