Soon after the milestone of shipping Europe’s first ever stonefruit exports to mainland China, the Spanish fruit industry is on track to opening up another booming Asian market, this time for its cherries.
According to the Mediterranean nation’s Federation of Fruit, Vegetable, Flower and Live Plant Grower Exporter Associations (FEPEX), Thai Department of Agriculture (DOA) representatives recently visited farming operations as part of negotitations to open up their market to Spanish cherries.
FEPEX said Thai inspectors visited several fields in the regions of Aragón and Extremadura from July 1-9, and also held meetings with administrative representatives from the autonomous communities and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing, Food and Environment (MAPAMA).
“Inspector visits of fields are one of the requirements usually included by outside countries in the phytosanitary negotiation processes for opening their markets, with the aim of verifying in the field whether phytosanitary requisites established in export protocols are met,” FEPEX said in a release.
“Both FEPEX and associations belonging to the Cherry Committee are actively participating in the negotiation for this export protocol due to the interest shown in the Thai market.
“To date there are no exports of fresh Spanish fruits and vegetables to Thailand.”
The group said Spanish cherry exports to non-EU countries reached 373 metric tons (MT) last year, representing a tiny fraction of total exports of 23,657MT.