Ecuadorian soursop finalizing U.S. admission
Ecuadorian and U.S. officials are meeting today (June 14) in Washington, DC. to discuss final phytosanitary protocols to grant admission for Ecuadorian organic soursop into the U.S.
This comes after over ten years of work, with the South American sector betting on the U.S. to increase global consumption.
Patricio Almeida, executive director of Ecuador's Agrocalidad, is set to meet with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to explore preventive measures to effectively manage pest and disease risks without negatively affecting the fruit’s organic certification.
According to Agrocalidad members, the measures initially proposed by APHIS to allow the fruit to enter the country include irradiation and treatment with synthetic chemicals such as fungicides.
However, this course of action was initially rejected by the Ecuadorian Association of Organic Soursop Producers (ASOGUANABANA), since it wouldn’t allow for the product to be certified as organic.
Related articles: Ecuadorian soursop industry betting on the U.S. market to increase global consumption
“We are confident that the efforts made by Agrocalidad and the support provided by the Ecuadorian Embassy in the U.S. will allow us to receive positive news from the delegation traveling to Washington today,” said ASOGUANABANA President Daniel Ortega.
Ivonne A-Baki, Ecuadorian Ambassador to the United States, told FreshfruitPortal.com that despite not yet being very popular among U.S. consumers, the fruit possesses many interesting qualities and health benefits.
“Soursop is one of the 10 products that Ecuador has prioritized for entry into the U.S. market, once all the corresponding regulatory requirements have been met," A-Baki said.
In 2018, Ecuador began exporting soursop powder into the U.S., and has since created great expectations that fresh and organic fruit can also be exported in the short or medium term.
Ecuador currently has about 5,000 acres destined for soursop cultivation, with 5% of that being for organic production. .
Another 500 acres are transitioning to conform with European Union organic farming regulations.
“In addition to soursop, we have other products that are also in the process of being regulated for entry by the U.S. health authority, such as avocado, passion fruit, grapes, grapefruit and mango, which also represent great opportunities for the growth of the exporting sectors of these products, generating more employment and development for our country," A-Baki added.