Argentina says it has concluded a successful 2018 export season, which saw its return to the U.S. market after a 17-year hiatus.
All Lemon, an export brand that has been providing a quality seal to audited companies since 2010, said a total of 10,640 metric tons (MT) were shipped to the reopened market this year.
In May last year, the USDA decided not to extend a stay on lemon imports from the Northwest region of the world’s top exporting country, effectively granting market access.
The Citrus Association of Northwest Argentina (ACNOA) said the 2018 season overall was characterized by increased volumes, higher quality, and shipments to new destinations.
“For this campaign, which was joined by new associates of All Lemon and new destinations, we recognize the importance of demanding more from ourselves. Meeting our customers’ requirements, both in terms of volumes and quality, is the priority of the work we carry out,” said Diego Decima of the Frutucumán, a partner company of All Lemon.
This year, All Lemon approved the audit of the international consultancy firm SGS for the certification of ISO 9001-2015, which is even more demanding than the 2008 version. The new version has been in place since 2014.
“Quality is perhaps the most appreciated aspect by the customer and the main objective to be met by the supplier, having the endorsement of ISO 9001-2015 is reassuring for both parties, [because] it encourages us to improve ourselves day by day, campaign to campaign”, said Francisco Rotella of Citrusvil.
New markets for Argentine lemons
Pablo Padilla of ACNOA said a lot of effort had been required for the return to the U.S. market, which has strict protocols in place for Argentine lemons, including that the fruit is picked green.
“It was a campaign of much learning, based on great effort, coordination and professionalism we managed to meet the proposed goal to meet local and international demands, promoting the sustainability of the activity throughout the NOA [Northwest Argentina],” said Padilla.
He added that “agreeing on the correct work guidelines to carry out a successful campaign requires the collaboration of multiple actors and spaces, and we are proud to say that we have complied”.
Padilla said that Argentina also this year sent its first-ever shipments of lemons to the Japanese market.