California plums score access to Japanese market

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California plums score access to Japanese market

California plums have scored access to the Japanese market, in what an industry body has described as a "significant opportunity" for the fruit.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the development, which involves the elimination of phytosanitary barriers.

The California Fresh Fruit Association said multiple rounds of technical negotiations were required that were somewhat hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CFFA said it would like to extend its appreciation to the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and Agricultural Research Service’s negotiators and experts, as well as the Fresno County and Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner offices for their invaluable contributions to this process.

There will be strict packing and fumigation protocols in place but given the success of the existing California nectarine program for Japan, California stone fruit exporters have already demonstrated a commitment to meeting Japan’s requirements.

“Trade barriers threaten the health and viability of the industry. This represents a significant opportunity for California plums, as Japanese consumers value premium fruit and recognize California fruit’s superior quality,” said Ian LeMay, CFFA President.

"As the global economy rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic, expanding market access will continue to be critical to the industry’s success."

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