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Machinery hiccup hits Colombian pitahaya exports to Korea, Japan

Despite a free trade agreement (FTA) coming into effect between Colombia and South Korea, a machinery deconfiguration has put dragon fruit exports to the country and Japan on hold along with U.S. negotiations. Grower group Asoppitaya is seeking investments to rehabilitate its vapor heat treatment (VHT) equipment to get back on track with these prospective markets. 

pitahaya zoom

When www.freshfruitportal.com visited Asoppitaya’s packing plant in Pereira in August last year, the group’s general manager Sandra Garcia was excited for an upcoming inaugural shipment to South Korea.

But it did not come to pass.

“Last year we managed to have everything ready to export to Korea, but unfortunately we had an electrical failure and the machine was deconfigured,” she says.

The VHT machinery is supposed to keep the fruit, also known as pitahaya, at 46°C (115°F) for approximately three hours to meet the East Asian country’s specifications.

The treatment is also required for exports to Japan, and forms a vital part of negotiations for U.S. access.

“We didn’t manage to configure it because it has to be done by a Japanese technician, so our attempt failed.

“It cost us a lot of money but we’re still going to try again and we’re looking for foreign investment to bring a Japanese technician.

“It’s a large investment that has to be made in repairs, we’re talking about US$ 50,000 and as small growers for us that’s a lot of money.”

Garcia says discussions are underway with a South Korean company to provide the capital necessary to get the machine back on track, but she is open to further support.

She hopes the funding can be secured for repairs by the end of this year, getting the machine operational for the 2017 season.

In the 2015-16 deal, Asoppitaya exported 28 metric tons (MT) of pitahayas worldwide, to markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil, Canada.

When asked about the FTA with South Korea, Garcia says tariffs will be gradually reduced to zero over the next five years, and she will also try to use the agreement to improve some aspects of the export protocol.

“Specifically for pitahaya, the phytosanitary rules are not negotiated as it’s a sovereign right of every country. But what can be negotiated in line with the FTA would be the reduction of some costs to be able to comply with the rules,” she says.

“In this case it’d be about organizing the feesof the inspector which are very high, between transport, food, overseas calls. It cost us almost 30 million pesos (US$ 10,230).

“An important message is that as small growers and business, we want to know the opportunities of every agreement very well. A lot of the time growers don’t make the most of these agreements because they’re not known in the productive sector.”

What else could benefit from the Colombia-South Korea FTA?

In a search of Korea International Trade Organization (KITO) statistics, bananas appeared as the main fruit crop Colombia has shipped to the country in the past.

However, the last registered exports were in 2013 when 164MT were shipped, down from 360MT in 2011 and a much higher figure of 908MT almost two decades prior in 1993.

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Peruvian Hass avocados to Japan mid-2015

The procedures carried out by Peru to be able to export Hass avocado to Japan, which started over five years ago, could be completed in the next four months, as announced by the head of the National Agricultural Health Service (SENASA), Jorge Barrenechea.

“We are about to finish the work plan with Japan, which will conclude in a public hearing; thus, we expect the issue to be resolved by April (2015). That entails that by mid-2015, in the worst case scenario, the Japanese market will be open to our Hass avocados,” he said.

Other destinations

He reported that, by 2015, the procedures with China for the entry of the same avocado variety will also be completed.

To this we must add that SENASA is already about to open the Korean market for mangoes.

Likewise, for next year, it is expected that Brazil will grant access to Peruvian citrus and flowers, to which end SENASA is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Brazilian Embassy in Lima.

Barrenechea pointed out that, in 2015, it is also expected that the United States will improve access for mangoes and citrus from Peru.

“In this case, we want the U.S. to authorise the entry of large mangoes, of over 650 grams, as this country currently imposes restrictions on mangoes lighter than 650 grams,” he stated.

In the case of citrus, SENASA seeks to increase the number of areas in Peru authorised to export to the U.S. market.

Citrus are only exported from Piura, Lambayeque, Lima, Ica and Junín. The goal is for Arequipa, La Libertad and Ancash to also be authorised.

SENASA to OCEX

Furthermore, to strengthen the promotion for the access of more Peruvian products to international markets, the head of SENASA announced that the Government will finish a project in January intended to ensure the presence of agricultural agents in Peru’s business offices overseas (OCEX).

SENASA will designate staff specialised in resolving sanitary and phytosanitary issues with the goal of speeding up the procedures for access to the country’s products.

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Peruvian mandarin exports to Japan a step further

Peruvian mandarin exports to Japan a step further

The Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MINAGRI), through the National Service of Agricultural Health (SENASA), has successfully completed the cold storage quarantine treatment tests for Satsuma mandarins (Citrus unshiu), carried out by the Phytosanitary Treatments Department of the Directorate for Plant Protection of SENASA, which was the evidence required to enable the export of Peruvian Satsuma mandarins to the Japanese market. 

From 12 to 23 May, Dr. Horomitsu Naito, entomologist at the Plant Protection Station in Yokohama, an institution under the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF), along with a team of specialists from SENASA led by engineer Felix Quenta, conducted the confirmatory tests at the Phytosanitary Treatment Centre of SENASA, based in La Molina.

The tests involved cold treatment at 2.1 °C for 18 days and at 3.0 °C for 23 days, intended to eliminate all possible infestations of Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata); a pest that does not exist in Japanese territory . 

With Dr Naito’s participation, it was found that the proposed treatments eliminated 100% of the larvae of the Mediterranean fruit fly in Satsuma mandarins, which had been inoculated with 17,000 larvae before each treatment. 

SENASA will send the official report of the test results to MAFF and, according to the procedures in force in Japan, this data will be analysed, corroborated and integrated in a proposal that will follow several stages.

Initially, the regulations will be discussed between the plant protection services of both countries to make way for a public hearing with the Japanese producers; the MAFF will subsequently make ​​an amendment to its regulations to include access to this Peruvian citrus variety. After the fulfilment of these steps, Peruvian mandarins will start being exported to this important international market.

It is worth noting that trials started in 2009 under an agreement between the MAFF of Japan and the SENASA of Peru, to enable the lifting of restrictions on Peruvian citrus, such as mandarins (Satsuma, Clementine, W. Murcott), Minneola tangelo and oranges (Lanelate and Washington navel). 

Source: Inforegion

Publication date: 6/12/2014


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Peruvian mandarin exports to Japan a step further

Peruvian mandarin exports to Japan a step further

The Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MINAGRI), through the National Service of Agricultural Health (SENASA), has successfully completed the cold storage quarantine treatment tests for Satsuma mandarins (Citrus unshiu), carried out by the Phytosanitary Treatments Department of the Directorate for Plant Protection of SENASA, which was the evidence required to enable the export of Peruvian Satsuma mandarins to the Japanese market. 

From 12 to 23 May, Dr. Horomitsu Naito, entomologist at the Plant Protection Station in Yokohama, an institution under the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF), along with a team of specialists from SENASA led by engineer Felix Quenta, conducted the confirmatory tests at the Phytosanitary Treatment Centre of SENASA, based in La Molina.

The tests involved cold treatment at 2.1 °C for 18 days and at 3.0 °C for 23 days, intended to eliminate all possible infestations of Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata); a pest that does not exist in Japanese territory . 

With Dr Naito’s participation, it was found that the proposed treatments eliminated 100% of the larvae of the Mediterranean fruit fly in Satsuma mandarins, which had been inoculated with 17,000 larvae before each treatment. 

SENASA will send the official report of the test results to MAFF and, according to the procedures in force in Japan, this data will be analysed, corroborated and integrated in a proposal that will follow several stages.

Initially, the regulations will be discussed between the plant protection services of both countries to make way for a public hearing with the Japanese producers; the MAFF will subsequently make ​​an amendment to its regulations to include access to this Peruvian citrus variety. After the fulfilment of these steps, Peruvian mandarins will start being exported to this important international market.

It is worth noting that trials started in 2009 under an agreement between the MAFF of Japan and the SENASA of Peru, to enable the lifting of restrictions on Peruvian citrus, such as mandarins (Satsuma, Clementine, W. Murcott), Minneola tangelo and oranges (Lanelate and Washington navel). 

Source: Inforegion

Publication date: 6/12/2014


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Argentina will export sweet citrus to Japan

Last Friday, Japan authorized opening its market to Argentine sweet citrus. Chancellor, Héctor Timerman, met with the governor of Entre Ríos, Sergio Urribarri, and representatives of the fruit sector, who analysed the implications of the announcement and the steps to follow to start export operations to the Japanese market.

The amendment to the regulations of Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will allow Argentina to export sweet oranges (Washington Navel, Lane Late and Salustiana varieties) as well as Mandarins (Clementine, Ellendale, Murcott and Nova varieties) with cold treatment to that destination.

The Japanese market for these citrus was closed for Argentina and the country’s Foreign Ministry and SENASA have been working together for a decade to open it.

Throughout the negotiations, the quality of Argentine citrus as well as the excellence of the health and quality control processes carried out in the country, have been certified.

In 2013, Japan imported 111,000 tons of oranges and 16,000 tons of tangerines, with an annual value of U.S. $ 128 million and $ 28 million respectively. Their main suppliers of oranges are the United States, Australia and South Africa; while their main suppliers of tangerines are the United States, Australia and Israel.

The opening of the Japanese market brings new possibilities for Argentine producers of sweet citrus for exporting their products to a very demanding and large-scale market, which will result in higher revenues for the regional economies, particularly for the NOA and NEA.

Source: Radio La Voz

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Peru: Citrus, avocado and grapes to be shipped to Japan in 2015

Peru: Citrus, avocado and grapes to be shipped to Japan in 2015

The negotiations for the export of cold-treated Peruvian Hass avocados, citrus and grapes to Japan from 2015 should finish this year, as reported by Jorge Barrenechea, head of the National Agricultural Health Service (Senasa).

As a result of cooperation since 2011 between the Association of Peruvian Citrus Producers (Procitrus) and Senasa, a joined investment of over 1 million dollars was made (70% from producers; 30% from Senasa) to conduct cold treatment tests with several citrus and table grape varieties and ensure both products are free of fruit flies.

“Japan is a very strict market when it comes to authorising the entry of certain products,” explained Barrenechea. He also stated that the process will be supervised by a Japanese representative, who will “verify that the test treatments have been carried out before the export of grapes and citrus to the Asian country.”

Regarding Hass avocados, he pointed out that a 2 million dollar project has been conducted in partnership with the Association of Hass Avocado Producers (ProHass) to confirm that avocados are free of fruit flies.

In this sense, the departments of Ica and Arequipa will be declared free of the pest after four years without any cases. Moquegua and Tacna are the other two regions which already have this distinction. Other areas will continue being monitored through Senasa’s Program for the Eradication of Fruit Flies.

Publication date: 1/29/2014


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Australian grapes poised to enter Korea and Japan

Australian grapes poised to enter Korea and Japan

The export of Australian grapes started a couple of weeks ago with air freight to Thailand and Hong Kong, the main volumes will come in in the next couple of weeks.

The early varieties are well under way and the main varieties Thompson and Crimson seedless, Crimson will start in 3-4 weeks along with Red Globe shortly after. Jeff Scott, CEO of the Australian Table Grape Association, says the quality is excellent this season, “When the Australian grapes hit the market they commanded a good price. This is also helped by the exchange rate which is giving around 15% more returns than last year.”

He goes on to say that volumes are looking good especially for Thompson’s and Crimson volumes are around average.

Australia is looking forward to entering new markets this year, FTA’s with Korea is almost complete and Japan access should occur soon after. Scott expects exports to Korea to start mid February if all the paper work is completed.

According to Jeff the FTA’s are vital for building market share in these countries, also if they come through then Australia will be able to export to every country in the world.

He expects that within 3-5 years Australia will be sending 10,000 tonnes of grapes into Korea. The consumers in Korea and Japan prefer the very sweet varieties and Australian exporters will be targeting the premium market with their high quality Crimson and Thomson seedless varieties. Jeff adds that these countries are also starting to show a taste for the white grape varieties.

Publication date: 1/10/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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At Least 890 Sick in Japan From Pesticide-Contaminated Food

Hundreds of people in Japan haven been sickened by food contaminated with the pesticide malathion. Reports on the number of victims differ from at least 890 to over 1,000.

The mass poisoning have been traced to Maruha Nichiro Holdings, which is recalling about 6.4 million bags of frozen foods including croquettes, frozen pizza and chicken nuggets, after 2.6 million times the permitted levels of pesticide were found in the products.

While 1.2 million packages have been recovered, another 5.2 million are still unaccounted for.

Police are now investigating the company’s plant in eastern Japan and Japanese media report that police suspect the malathion was mixed into products there.

“We test products several times a day for evidence of spoilage, based on the law, but we had no reason to believe pesticides would be present, so we didn’t test for that,” Ichiro Gohara, a spokesman for the company told Bloomberg News.

Symptoms of the poisoning include vomiting and diarrhea and customers complained of a strong odor from the foods. According to Maruha Nichiro, none of the contaminated products have been shipped to other countries.

Malathion is registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use on crops and is also an ingredient in head lice treatments.

Food Safety News

Is Yuzu the new superfruit? The rare citrus from Japan predicted to be next big thing

Is Yuzu the new superfruit? The rare citrus from Japan predicted to be next big thing

It’s been called the world’s sexiest fruit and it’s a darling of chefs, yet you may never have heard of it.

So brace yourself for the taste of 2014: yuzu, a rare and costly citrus fruit from Japan, which is predicted to become as popular here as oranges.

It tastes like a cross between a lemon, mandarin and grapefruit and is finally being accepted into Western cuisine, where it is being used to flavour everything from beer and chewing gum to vinegar and cocktails.

It is widely stocked in Asian food shops and is expected to hit supermarket shelves early next year.

Nationwide chain Yo! Sushi is adding a sashimi dish to its menu at the end of November featuring thinly sliced premium salmon with a tart salsa made of yuzu. Executive chef Mike Lewis says: ‘Yuzu looks like a tangerine and tastes similar to a floral lime.

‘It has three times more vitamin C than a lemon, which makes this dish super-healthy.’

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

Publication date: 10/24/2013


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Japan, US, agree to accept each other’s organic imports

Japan, US, agree to accept each other’s organic imports

The Agriculture Department is planning to announce Thursday that organic products certified in Japan or in the United States may be sold as organic in either country. The agreement will allow producers to sell in both countries without going through the lengthy process of getting certified twice.

Japan imports a wide variety of organics from the United States, including soybeans, specialty crops like cauliflower and nuts, and processed products like frozen meals. The main Japanese imports to the United States are organic green tea, sake and mushrooms.

In agreeing to the deal, Japan dropped its objections to two substances allowed in US organic foods that are not allowed in Japanese organic foods.

While most of the two countries’ organic standards are the same, Japan has not allowed its organics to be produced with ligonum sulfonate, a substance used in post-harvest fruit production, or alkali-extracted humic acid, a fertilizer used to help grow a variety of organic crops. The United States allows those substances.

Annual organic sales to Japan from the United States now total around $ 80 million, and USDA estimates the new agreement could more than triple that amount to $ 250 million a year over the next 10 years.

“This partnership reflects the strength of the USDA organic standards, allowing American organic farmers, ranchers, and businesses to access Asia’s largest organic market,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Source: washingtonpost.com

Publication date: 9/26/2013


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Pakistan: Mangoes exported to Japan after 16 years

Pakistan: Mangoes exported to Japan after 16 years

Pakistan has successfully exported mangoes to Japan for commercial purpose after 16 years, said sources.

Japan’s business community organised a special launch ceremony of the fruit in Tokyo on Wednesday. Honoured guest Farukh Aamil, Pakistan’s ambassador to Japan, said: “It is a memorable occasion for Pakistan. After huge efforts by Pakistani authorities, the country has successfully exported its mangoes to Japan. However, it is the responsibility of Pakistani exporters to maintain mango quality to capture the Japanese market.”

He added that the Pakistani authorities have been seeking to establish a VHT plant, a condition imposed by Japan to allow the import of Pakistani mangoes, in the country this year to increase the quantity of mangoes. A variety of mango dishes were also presented during the event.

Source: thenews.com.pk

 
 

Publication date: 8/23/2013


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