Agriculture Minister Juan Guillermo Zuluaga Cardona recently met with U.S. Under Secretary of Agriculture, Ted McKinney, who said he “sees a clear path” for the entry of Colombian bell pepper and sweet citrus into the North American country.
Zuluaga said the joint effort between the two governments in the case of avocados “is a true milestone for our country, and will be replicated in achieving access for other products to the most demanding markets.”
During the meeting between the officials, Colombia’s Vice Minister of Agricultural Affairs Samuel Zambrano noted the next product items the country wanted to prioritize for future access to the U.S.
These are: bell pepper, melon, watermelon, mango, yellow passionfruit (granadilla), purple passionfruit (maracuyá), banana passionfruit (curuba), cucumber, feijoa, lemongrass, salvia, lulo (naranjilla), tamarillo, and tomato.
“The good news is that the process for bell peppers and sweet citrus is going very well, there is a clear path and we believe that we will get the green light very soon, we think that soon we will be able to import these products,” McKinney said.
Colombia’s Ministry of Agriculture said that bell peppers were the main priority for now, and said talks were advancing for melon, watermelon and mango access.
It is also seeking to reopen the U.S. market for citrus exports.
“The spirit of cooperation with Colombia is marvelous, our mutual promise is to help it grow, we express our will to solve problems and achieve greater collaboration between APHIS and [Colombian phytosanitary watchdog] ICA to make the most of trade agreements,” McKinney.