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Chile’s 25-year wait to implement Systems Approach for table grape exports to US market nearly over

It looks like Chile's 25-year wait to see their Systems Approach implemented for table grapes from key growing regions to the US market will finally be over. Iván Marambio, president of Frutas de Chile, says, "After the online meeting between the Ministers of Agriculture of Chile and the United States (USDA), held last week, the Systems Approach would be a reality for our table grape exports from the regions of Atacama, Coquimbo and an area of Valparaiso. Now, the only thing that remains is the publication of the protocol in the Federal Register. This news fills us with enthusiasm, as it is the conclusion of nearly 25 years of negotiations."

Iván Marambio, president of Frutas de Chile.

For decades, these growing regions in Chile's table grape industry had to fumigate their table grapes with methyl bromide in order to enter the lucrative US market. The fumigation on the grapes was needed to ensure certain pests of concern present in Chile does not enter the U.S. via the exported fruit. Several pilot programs were conducted over the years to determine if this system could be viable for the mitigation of the pests that concern the US Department of Agriculture.

"The Systems Approach will allow us to eliminate the fumigation of the fruit, replacing it with an inspection system carried out by the Chilean SAG and USDA-APHIS. This will allow us to offer U.S. consumers grapes of better quality and condition and it will improve competitiveness in the U.S. market against other grape supplying countries from the Southern Hemisphere," explains Marambio.

He, together with the Chilean industry and growers and exporters in the affected regions, are hopeful to grow volumes with a quite a few million more boxes to their main US market once the new protocol is in place. "The past season, we exported around 64 million boxes of table grapes to the world. About 40 million boxes went to the United States, and 15 million of that volume came from the regions that will implement the Systems Approach. We believe those boxes could grow from 15 to 20 million," states Marambio.

This long 25 year wait is part of Frutas de Chile's ongoing work to increase or improve market access to facilitate faster trade, concludes Marambio.

For more information:
Iván Marambio
Frutas de Chile
Tel: + 56 2 2472 4700
Email: [email protected]