USDA gives 100% clearance for South African clementines - FreshFruitPortal.com

USDA gives 100% clearance for South African clementines

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USDA gives 100% clearance for South African clementines

The United States Deparment of Agriculture (USDA) has given 100% clearance for South African clementines so far this year, according to the Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum (WCCPF).

The WCCPF said U.S. authorities made no rejections of fruit during the last 21 days of inspections, in an industry where anything below 10% is generally considered acceptable.

"We are not surprised by this news - for many years , our aggressive and scientific farming practices have worked to reduce pests. We meet and exceed all USDA requirements for our fruit and our program is a model for safety and freshness," said WCCPF chairman Gerrit van der Merwe.

WCCPF says growers have cut false coddling moth (FCM) populations by 95% through the use of the X-SIT (Sterile Insect Technique) program.

"The dedicated and committed growers who are part of the X-SIT program have seen excellent results to control these problem pests - those who have resisted the program find the FCM continues to be an issue for them and puts their fruit as well as that of others at risk," said van der Merwe.

He said cold treatment also had a large part to play in combating out pests.

"The cold temperature of 32°F (0°C) for 24 days is very tough for the fruit as it is very cold - while the cold will kill any latent pests, the extended time can also be damaging to the fruit.

"The internationally recognized and accepted protocols and in fact, all scientific studies indicate cold for no longer than 22 days is more than sufficient for the purposes of addressing latent pests."

Photo: Cooking Light

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