The National Agri-Food Health and Quality Service (SENASA) controls and certifies the production process of cherries in the towns of Gaiman and Sarmiento, in Chubut, and Los Antiguos, in Santa Cruz, verifying that they comply with the most demanding requirements agreed with the export markets of this delicious fresh fruit.
In 2022, Argentina exported 4,278 tons of fresh cherries to different destinations. The main destination markets were the United States, China, and the United Kingdom.
Argentina maintains specific export certification agreements for fresh cherries with the United States, China, and Canada. On November 30, the agreement between SENASA and its US counterpart was updated.
The 2022-2023 cherry harvest and export season was limited to the months of December and January. It started in Gaiman on November 30, in the north of the province of Chubut. It continued southward, in the town of Sarmiento, and concluded in the north of the province of Santa Cruz at the end of January. Its distribution responds to the climatic characteristics of Patagonia. The colder the climate, the later the harvest.
Prior to carrying out any agricultural activity, cherry producers must be registered with the National Health Registry of Agricultural Producers (Renspa). The packaging and cold rooms where this fruit is received must also be registered with the corresponding SENASA registers.
SENASA's work regarding exports begins months before the harvest, with the registration of cherry producers and the verification of packing sheds and cold storage facilities. In this instance, they verify compliance with national export regulations and phytosanitary requirements established in the specific export protocols of each destination country, including sampling and physical and documentary controls. In the particular case of the United States, the prior authorization of packaging and cold rooms is carried out jointly between SENASA and the health authorities of that destination.
The tasks, which are carried out jointly by Plant Protection and Food Safety and Quality agents of the Patagonia Sur del Senasa Regional Center, include the inspection of the farms, fresh fruit processing establishments, cold storage facilities, and each of the items to be exported, as well as the preparation of the documentation of the merchandise that is transferred to the point where it will be shipped out of the country.
In addition, the technical managers of the four export packaging facilities located in the nearby towns, the monitors, and SENASA inspectors are trained each year to ensure that they are all aware of everything related to the production and export process so that shipments to the different markets are successful.