A fruit fly find near Chile’s Port of Valparaiso is not expected to affect grape shipments from the country to North America.
Eleven fruit flies were discovered in Cerro Yungay, which is near the busy port, in early January.
In a Jan. 11 statement, Ronald Bown, president of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), said the association and its shippers were in full compliance with U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements for the importation of fresh fruit into the U.S.
ASOEX officials, Bown said, have been in frequent contact with the Chilean Phytosanitary Agency and Port authorities, shipping companies, exporters and growers, industry suppliers and others engaged in providing fresh Chilean fruit to North American markets.
“Among the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association’s highest priorities is to be in full compliance with all of the USDA’s food safety standards, not only at the point of production but throughout the supply chain,” Bown said. “To this effect, fruit loaded at the Port of Valparaiso must use micropunctured bags or protection nets on pallets if the fruit does not arrive at the port in sealed containers from their respective packing stations.”
That protocol will be in place from Jan. 12 through the end of the Chilean fruit season, Bown said.
On Jan. 12, the first vessel complying with the new protocol was loaded with Chilean fruit bound for U.S. markets.
“ASOEX does not foresee any impact on volume entering the North American market,and is anticipating strong, consistent supply throughout the season,” Bown said.