Tucumán citrus growers aim to ship to Asia, re-enter U.S. in 2011 - FreshFruitPortal.com

Tucumán citrus growers aim to ship to Asia, re-enter U.S. in 2011

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Tucumán citrus growers aim to ship to Asia, re-enter U.S. in 2011

Citrus growers in Argentina’s Tucumán province have their sights on entering Asian markets and renewing shipments to the United States in 2011 after a nearly 10-year absence, according to local newspaper La Gaceta.

“The great demand for food favors basically commodities. Even more animal proteins are in demand, which leads to production of vegetable proteins,” citrus businessman Daniel Lucci is quoted as saying. However, he said that trend won’t necessarily translate to an increase in lemon consumption.

“The opening of new markets is for us a factor in export. China continues to forbid our fruit, because it has a protocol similar to Japan’s which requires a cold quarantine that won’t work for lemons,” Lucci said, according to the newspaper.

Roberto Sánchez Loria, president of the Tucumán Citrus Association, said that the group is working on making the protocols in Japan more flexible.

“We are trying to reverse that rules, with work from Estación Experimental (part of Argentina’s Institute for Agricultural Technology), which the Japanese consider valid and substantive for an eventual modification of the protocol,” he is quoted as saying.

Lucci said he believes that reopening the U.S. market is closer at hand. During the 2000 and 2001 season, fresh Tucumán lemons were sold in the U.S. until the California courts heard a demand from local citrus growers and ordered the market closed.

“Probably during 2011 we will have positive news about the re-entry of lemon in the United States,” Lucci is quoted as saying.

Last year, when it appeared that all sanitary rules had been fulfilled, the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service demanded that Argentina present records of all units of citrus production; monitoring of all units before the beginning of the harvest; and monitor all plant that show symptoms of Citrus Variegated Chlorosis.

Argentine officials believe the new demands were the result of a strong lobby for the citrus producers of California.

“The work is in full swing, on a national level, to show that CVC is not present, and in Brazil, investigations are under way to demonstrate that this illness is not transferable by seeds. … We are optimistic that this will give positive results,” Lucci said.

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

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