A delegation from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) visited Chile last week with the aim of advancing, together with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG), on issues of mutual interest related to the bilateral exchange of fresh fruits.
Some of the most outstanding developments in this area include the progress made to export blueberries from the United States to Chile, the Systems Approach implementation process for Chile's table grapes, the application of irradiation for grape and blueberry exports to the US, and the progress made in the implementation of a substitute product for methyl bromide, among other topics.
“Chile has one of the most professional and efficient systems to export agricultural products that we have seen anywhere in the world. For us, it is a pleasure to have several APHIS inspection offices and to have Systems Approaches for a significant number of fruits,” stated the US ambassador in Chile, Bernadette Meehan.
“These bilateral meetings are relevant to our fresh fruit exports. In the 2021-2022 season, the US was the main destination market for our fruits, accounting for 30% of all shipments. It is a key market for our blueberries, citrus fruits, and table grapes, a process that, with this type of meeting, advances in a positive way,” stated Ivan Marambio, the president of ASOEX.
“In this meeting, the USDA, APHIS, and SAG made progress on issues that are important for our sector, such as the Systems Approach for table grapes in the northern part of the country, the use of e-fume (an environmentally friendly product that has the support of the Foundation for Fruit Development) as an alternative to the fumigation of methyl bromide. It was also analyzed as an alternative irradiation for table grapes and blueberries. In addition, the entry of our oranges and lemons to Puerto Rico and Hawaii,” stated Miguel Canala-Echeverria.
“Other topics of interest for Chile were the Systems Approach for figs, blackberry and raspberry propagation material, and the alternative of entry of the pomegranate due to fruit flies. While the issues of interest to the United States, during this working day, were related to blueberry exports from the eastern United States to Chile, and the recognition of the Fall Creek Farm and Nursery blueberry genetic material production center in Oregon,” added Rodrigo Astete, the head of SAG's Agricultural, Forestry, and Seed Protection Division.
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