While lemon exports from Argentina to Japan have been allowed since 2003, authorized protocols on cold storage resulted in problems for Argentine producers and blocked sales.
The Argentine Foreign Office said that exports took place in August following a July visit by Japanese inspectors to production and packing sites in Tucuman.
Finally, a container with lemons from the Northwestern region of Argentina (NOA) arrived at Yokohama port, becoming the first shipment certified throughout all different control stages for access to the Japanese market.
“We are still working with the Ministry of Agro-Industry to open up markets for Argentine products,” said Argentine Foreign Affairs Minister Horacio Reyser.
Argentina is one of the leading lemon producers and exporters at a global level. In 2017, exports to 52 countries amounted to USD 249 million and, so far this year, they amount to over USD 211 million, featuring Spain, Russia, Italy and the Netherlands as the main destinations.
This season, which is now drawing to a close, Argentine lemon shippers also exported fruit to the U.S. market after a 17-year hiatus.