Chilean industry welcomes USDA’s grape import rules proposal

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Chilean industry welcomes USDA’s grape import rules proposal

Following the announced proposal by the USDA’s APHIS to ease import requirements for Chilean table grapes, authorities and industry leaders from the Latin American country have expressed their support for the proposed change. 

Chile exports approximately 70 million boxes of table grapes to the world. About half of this amount is sent to the U.S., i.e. approximately 37 million boxes, according to the Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX).

The Chilean Minister of Agriculture, Esteban Valenzuela, expressed his satisfaction with the decision by the U.S. phytosanitary authority. 

"It is a decade and a half of work that we have accelerated with direct dialogues with the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, Tom Vilsack, with whom I met at the beginning of June of this year,” he said.

“In addition, we have worked together with producers, SAG and ODEPA, always with the collaboration of the private sector such as Fedefruta, Asoex, the Foundation for Fruit Development (FDF) and the Association of Agricultural Producers and Exporters of the Copiapó Valley (Apeco).”

The initiative marks an important milestone in a negotiation that began around the year 2000 between Chile and the U.S, aiming to reduce quarantine pests.

The U.S. agricultural attaché in Chile, Bret Tate, commented that the Boric and Biden's administrations are well aligned on the concern for climate change and the benefits of free and transparent trade. 

The Systems Approach will lower the use of fumigation, thus contributing to sustainability. The initiative will also facilitate international trade between the two countries.

Most important milestone in the last 30 years

Jorge Valenzuela, president of Fedefruta, commented that "the news of the publication of the Systems Approach in the US Federal Register leaves us in a state of shock, because the truth is that for table grape growers, it is the most important milestone in the last 30 years, since the production and export of table grapes began.”

“I am sure that the Systems Approach will be very well met by growers, because we have been testing these protocols for many years. Many thanks to the Ministry of Agriculture, the U.S. Embassy in Chile, ASOEX and all the producers who made this a reality”, said Valenzuela.

Along the same lines, ASOEX’s president, Iván Marambio, stated that the sector is happy to receive this news and thanked the authorities involved.

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