Brazil has closed its border to apple and pears originating in the Argentine provinces of Río Negro y Neuquén over numerous pest detections in shipments entering the country.
The development came after Brasilian authorities blocked a total of eight trucks trying to enter the country following the detection of codling moth larvae.
Argentina phytosanitary watchdog Senasa says it is negotiating with the Brazilian Agriculture Ministry to restore full market access for the two key production provinces as soon as possible.
It is also working with the growers and exporters in question and is taking various measures including the suspension of production sites and packhouses.
“We have been applying all the contemplated measures in the work plan agreed with Brazil in 2015 that until now has been generating very good results, but this year there have been interceptions,” Guillermo Ross, vice-president of Senasa, said in a release. “We are therefore expanding controls - an effort we are undertaking together with the provinces and the private sector, with whom we met last week.”
In 2015 Brazil suspended market access for Argentine fresh apples and pears for several weeks following codling moth detection. Back then Brazilian authorities said the suspension would continue until Argentina adequately mitigated the risks associated with the pest.
Marcelo Loyarte, executive director of national fruit grower association CAFI, told FreshFruitPortal.com that there remains uncertainty within the industry about the scope of the measures taken by Brazil.
“We trust the Argentine authorities in the process of negotiating with Brazil, which is what they are doing at the moment, bearing in mind that the risk mitigation system has given sufficient guarantees to the imports,” he said.
Pierre Nicolas Peres, president of the Brazilian apple growers association, said there had been pressure on the Brazilian Government from the private sector to take action following the detections.