The government of Chile has agreed to accept imports of blueberries from Washington, Oregon and California, and will consider other areas, opening up potentially lucrative counter-season trade.
On July 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, notified the North American Blueberry Council that Chilean importers will accept incoming U.S. berries with permits, according to a news release from the Blueberry Council, based in Folsom, California. Chilean and U.S. agriculture agencies will now focus on opening trade to blueberries grown in other areas. They first targeted the three West Coast states because the Chilean government had more information about the region than others, according to the release.
U.S. shippers are encouraged to work with their Chilean buyers to secure the government permits, based on verification of the phytosanitary mitigation practices, according to the release.
Earlier this year, China and the Philippines both began to accept fresh blueberry imports from the U.S.
—by Ross Courtney