Systems Approach will increase Chilean grape competitiveness in U.S. market
Fedefruta and ASOEX are currently in the process to obtain U.S. approval of the Systems Approach protocol, with the expectation of starting to implement it next season.
The Systems Approach project is presented as an alternative to the methyl bromide (BrMe) fumigation required by the USDA.
The Systems Approach, as a pest mitigation method, prevents spoilage, extends the time at destination markets and preserves the organic quality of the fruit, one of the main attractions of the Chilean table grape.
Lobesia botrana and using Methyl Bromide
Chilean table grape production is affected by the quarantine for the Lobesia botrana (cluster moth) plague, which attacks vineyards, causing damage as its larvae feed on the clusters, which causes rotting and dehydration of the grapes and impacts the vines' yields.
In 2008, following the detection of Lobesia Botrana in Chilean grapes, the USDA began to require treatment with methyl bromide.
BrMe is a highly harmful gas, with a large environmental impact and that can also affect consumers' health. It is prohibited in some countries and the FAO promotes its replacement or reduction.
The chemical also deteriorates the fruit since for the application the fruit is taken out of its cold chain, heated up to about 15° so that the BrMe is effective, and left to rest for two days before being marketed.
The damage in condition, quality and life of the grape caused by the chemical, impacts its commercial potential and reduces the window in which the product is able to be marketed, thus affecting prices.
Due to these reasons, the possibility to adopt the Systems Approach as an alternative method to the use of BrMe was created.
Today, there are inspection, auditing and certification services that will allow your company to implement the Systems Approach protocol. These services are provided by the QIMA group through its QIMA Food Solutions division.
QIMA Food Solutions - Inspection, audit and certification to secure your supply chain
A service available to your company, Qima offers solutions to the producer, exporter, importer and others, in all phases of the food supply chain. The company helps you ensure food safety, quality and compliance.
QIMA Food Solutions is prepared to provide specialized support to implement the Systems Approach protocol, helping you put established standards into practice that will allow you to guarantee the correct level of protection regarding the Lobesia botrana pest in your table grapes.
Additionally, you will be able to comply with the product quality standards that are required by international markets. This support is carried out through its three business areas: QIMA/WQS, QIMA Produce, and IBD.
QIMA/WQS - Audit and certifications for the food sector
QIMA/WQS offers internationally recognized GFSI certifications, third-party auditing and quality inspections to different sectors of the food industry.
The plans recognized by the GFSI are GLOBALG.A.P. and GLOBALG.A.P. IFA (the standard for integrated farm insurance).
With the backing of GLOBALG.A.P., QIMA/WQS works to support farmers by developing and implementing fact-based and recognized agricultural assurance systems throughout the supply chain.
Its role is important because it connects producers with markets where they can sell their products safely and sustainably.
For fruits and vegetables, GLOBALG.A.P. IFA covers all stages of production, from pre-harvest activities, such as soil management and the application of phytosanitary products, to the handling, packaging and storage of post-harvest products.
QIMA Produce - Inspections from origin to destination
QIMA Produce helps to ensure the quality of its products with the help of highly trained professional inspectors. Inspectors use the best tools and techniques for quality control of products from origin to destination.
QIMA Produce makes the inspection of fresh products such as table grapes available to your company.
The company provides product quality verification services such as color, maturity, firmness and shape review; review of weight and diameter; and review of defects (quantity and serious defects), making a thorough selection of the fruit and discarding the fruit with defects.
Chilean table grapes are prone to damage due to changes in temperature. QIMA Produce is a specialist in products that require a cold chain, therefore, it will ensure that everything is preserved prior to sea and air shipments.
The company has extensive experience working in these cases and you can feel confident that your product will arrive in optimal condition.
IBD offers certifications for organic products and certifications for sustainability. The requirements of the certifications are that the products be cultivated under the norms of organic production and biodynamics; not using chemicals and pesticides; the preservation of forest areas and native species, reserves, etc.
The IBD certification is important to the Systems Approach because it will allow everything to comply with the protocol standards such as the non-use of chemicals.
In this case, the company will propose other alternatives to substitute the BrMe fumigation of the grape crop to control the Lobesia botrana plague.
The Systems Approach
The Systems Approach is a productive strategy that aims to reduce the prevalence of pests such as Lobesia botrana.
It prevents deterioration, allows the marketing time at the destination to be extended and preserves the organic quality of the fruit, one of the main attractions of the Chilean table grape.
Additionally, it does not affect the profitability of the products, as does the fumigation with BrMe.
Although costs increase when using this system, the approach ensures that fruit will not present problems at the destination.
This production strategy involves the application of various pest mitigation measures, of which at least two are independent.
Chileans have been working on a proposal for several years and recently met with the Minister of Agriculture, María Emilia Undurraga, the Director of SAG, Horacio Bórquez, and the Director of PASO, María José Irarrázaval to finalize the proposal and present it to the U.S.
The actions to be taken to attack Lobesia botrana are defined as constant monitoring of the harvest and the use of traps every 100 meters as well as specific solutions offered to control the Brevipalpus Chilensis plague.