Chile is getting every closer to being able to export fumigation-free grapes to the U.S. as it makes progress on an Atacama-based inspection site, fruit export associaiton Asoex said.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service published a Pest Risk Analysis associated with the long-awaited Systems Approach on Feb 14, 2022. The comment period ended on March 29, 2022, and regulators are understood to be currently reviewing the comments.
One of the key conditions for the implementation of the Systems Approach is having a Chile-based facility where inspectors from the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG), under the supervision of USDA-APHIS officials, can ensure that the fruit complies with the respective fruit safety regulations.
A delegation recently visited the current facilities of a cold storage plant in the Pabellon area in Tierra Amarilla, which will be refurbished to carry out quality control work and export fruit in compliance with the protocol.
"The delegation that made the visit was composed of representatives of [grape association] APECO, ASOEX, along with public and private actors and marks an important milestone in the materialization of this project that has been on the agenda of farmers and public agencies in Atacama for years," Asoex said in a release.
Miguel Canala-Echeverría, the General Manager of Asoex, said: "We have all concluded that the best location is in the Pabellón sector, towards the interior of the valley, because it is close to the production areas and cold storage facilities where the samples would be obtained to be sent to this inspection point."
"We are very pleased. We have had meetings with the Regional Government, with representatives such as the Regional Ministerial Scretretary of Agriculture, with the Director of [phytosanitary watchdog] SAG, and there is total consensus regarding its importance and the Regional Government's desire to be able to contribute to materialize the construction of this place."