Chile reacts to Peru fruit ban: 'This is an attack on our image'

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Chile reacts to Peru fruit ban: 'This is an attack on our image'

Peruvian authorities with SENASA abruptly suspended the import of Chilean stone fruit (nectarines, cherries, plumcots, peaches, plums, apricots) and apples on Friday. SENASA cited the imminent risk of entry of the Grapholita molesta, also knows as the oriental fruit moth, which affects these fruits.

Frutas de Chile President Iván Marambio told that this "is an attack on the reputation of our image as an exporting country and that is what worries us most."

Related article: Peru restricts Chilean fruit imports over pest detection

He said the pest detections occurred a month ago and that the Peruvian and Chilean authorities have been working on the problem since. 

"An agreement was reached and implemented. Since its implementation, there have been no more detections of the pest," Marambio said. "However, Peru then came out with what we saw on Friday. It's shocking since the technical bodies, both Peruvian and Chilean, had already reached an agreement. ... We are very surprised that this has been done. We consider it an abuse."

Why was the ban put in place?

Marambio said detections were made in exports from informal companies that "are not part of our union," Frutas de Chile. These companies do not always adhere to established protocol and treatments.

Frutas de Chile sent a letter to the Chilean Minister of Agriculture, Esteban Valenzuela, explaining the situation.

"We have informed the president of the Senate Commission, the president of the Agriculture Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, and we have also sent our arguments and backup information to our ambassador and the director of the Chilean Agriculture and Livestock Services (SAG)," he added.

By Tuesday, the phytosanitary authorities of both countries should meet, he added, and "we hope to have good news in the short term and that our technical authorities have reached an agreement with the Peruvian technical authority."

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