Brazilian officials to meet with U.S. counterparts over orange juice blockade
The Brazilian government has responded to calls from exporters to act as a mediator with U.S. authorities, with plans to negotiate a solution to the current orange juice blockade, website Revistagloborural.globo.com reported.
Brazil is the world's largest orange juice exporter but last month the industry was cut off from U.S. access, after fungicide carbendazim - which was widely used in the country's orange production - was found in a juice inspection.
Brazilian National Citrus Juice Exporters Association president Christian Lohbauer, told the website the ministries of agriculture, foreign relations and development, and industry and foreign trade, were to meet U.S. officials to discuss the case.
"It will take an effort that is much more political than technical, because the technical position has already been discussed," Lohbauer was quoted as saying.
"The product is under Brazilian law, all other markets accept it. Citrus farmers haven't done anything wrong and the industry hasn't done anything wrong.
But the industry has had to accept the U.S. decision. Lohbauer said carbendazim had been suspended in all Brazilian juice export farms since the first week of January.
The industry's target is to have 100% of the Brazilian juice arriving in the U.S. as pesticide-free within 18 months, the story reported.
In terms of the juice that has already been sent to the U.S. there are two options: incineration or re-export. Lohbauer urged the industry not to choose incineration.
International relations minister Célio Porto, told the website Brazilian juice was needed in the U.S. supply chain as there was no other supplier that could provide the same quantity of the product.
Related stories: U.S. authorities to test Brazilian orange juice imports