Chilean Lemons to Enter United States Under "Systems Approach" Method

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Tue. April 17th, 2018 - by Geneva Hutcheson

CHILE - Allowing lemons to meet specific requirements to enter the U.S. without fumigation, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture has announced the authorization of fresh lemons from Chile to be shipped to the U.S. market under a “Systems Approach” method.

President of the Chilean Citrus Committee Juan Enrique Ortúzar expressed that this opportunity is a great step forward for the Chilean lemon industry.

Juan Enrique Ortúzar, President, Chilean Citrus Committee “With ‘Systems Approach,’ the cold chain will remain intact, so our lemons will arrive to the U.S. in the best possible condition,” Ortúzar said. “This is significant for both exporters and their customers, who will now be able to rely more than ever on the consistently high quality of Chilean lemons. We are appreciative of all the hard work undertaken by the authorities and the industry to make this a reality.”

By employing mitigation measures rather than fumigation with methyl bromide, “Systems Approach” allows for the safe importation of lemons from Chile, according to a press release. Products grow under this method will have a registered production area, certified as having a low prevalence of Brevipalpus chilensis by the Chilean Government. The fruit will also undergo a pre-harvest sampling at a registered site under the direction of Chile’s national plant protection organization. After harvest, APHIS-approved inspections sites in Chile will inspect the fruit. Each consignment of fruit that successfully passes through all these measures will receive a phytosanitary certificate and a declaration stating that the fruit was determined to be free of Brevipalpus chilensis through field and packing inspections.

Lemon Trees

“The timing of this confirmation is perfect, as we will start shipping lemons to the U.S. in May,” said Ortúzar.

The Final Standard was published on April 6, 2018, and it is effective in 30 days of its publication, beginning May 7, 2018. The majority of lemons shipped to the U.S. this season will be under the “Systems Approach” method, which is big news coming from a country that exported nearly 78,000 tons of lemons last year, 55 percent of which (43,000 tons) were shipped to North America.

To follow methodological shifts in the produce industry, keep reading AndNowUKnow.

Citrus from Chile