Colombia shipped out 8.8 tons of cold-treated fresh blueberries from the Colombian port of Barranquilla to the US port of Philadelphia at the beginning of October. The fruit, which was preserved at a maximum temperature of 1.6° C, from the conditioning plant to the port of destination, was inspected by the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA), an entity that guarantees the shipment complies with the agreed phytosanitary and documentary requirements for the admissibility of fresh Colombian blueberries in the United States market under cold treatment, to guarantee the absence of pests such as fruit flies.
The port of Barranquilla has a refrigerated warehouse and an IAP PAPF to verify compliance with the requirements demanded by the North American market. In this space, officials of the National Plant Quarantine Group of the ICA make an analysis of the temperature in which the fresh fruit is, and carry out a documentary study, in accordance with the export requirements, to authorize the shipment of the products.
The officials of the Boyaca section of the ICA are responsible for the verification of the compliance with the phytosanitary requirements agreed with the country of destination and perform inspections in the post-harvest plant through samples. The selected fruits are subjected to a visual record and a series of tests that guarantee the absence of pests, such as fruit flies and mites, as well as leaf, stem or branch residues.
The general manager of the ICA, Deyanira Barrero Leon, said that the collaboration between this organization and private companies allowed revitalizing the national economy. She also said that their work allowed the destination countries, such as the United States, to trust the products that leave the Colombian fields.
The ICA stressed that they will continue to work as a team with Colombian agricultural producers to continue shipping out excellent quality products in order to maintain the markets that were already open and to achieve opening new international markets.