A representative of the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Alan K. Dowdy, sent a letter to head of the Costa Rican Phytosanitary Service (SFE), Francisco Dall’Anese, highlighting the concerns.
Local media Nacion.com reported the problem had exacerbated over the past two years, with 447 pineapple and 285 chayote pest interceptions reported in 2014. So far in 2015 the figure for pineapples stands at 147, and 85 for chayote.
The U.S. receives 51% of Costa Rica’s pineapple exports, which represented US$445 million in 2014. Almost all of the country’s US$16 million worth of chayote shipments are sent to the U.S, according to the story.
Dall’Anese reportedly replied to the letter saying that if the number of interceptions did not decrease, Costa Rican authorities will have to make addition restrictions to its shipments.
Costa Rican Exporters’ Association (Cadexco) president Laura Bonilla said the warning from the U.S. was of huge concern, and requested an immediate meeting with the SFE.
During this meeting, an improved export protocol was reportedly agreed upon for chayote shippers, and another was considered for pineapples. In addition, regional heads of the organization will attempt to rectify the problem.