Pineapple trade group cites delays at L.A. port - The Packer

Pineapple trade group cites delays at L.A. port

08/19/2014 11:33:00 AM
Andy Nelson

A pineapple trade group is criticizing the time X-ray examinations of product are taking at the Port of Los Angeles.

Inspections under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s VACIS program have been delayed as inspectors work through a backlog, Will Cavan, executive director of the International Pineapple Organization, said in a blog post on the organization’s website.

Pineapples and other commodities have sat at the port for more than two weeks, in some cases, waiting for inspections, Cavan said.

“Poor planning and understaffing at the USDA is causing a major headache for the pineapple industry,” Cavan said. “Perishable containers are sitting at the port for days and weeks, basically destroying the contents inside.”

After fruit is finally inspected, some containers are so moldy, fruit needs to be thrown away.

“The negligent behavior on the part of USDA and (the Department of Homeland Security) is unacceptable, and a prompt solution to this injurious scenario must be corrected immediately.”

Workabeba Yigzaw, a spokeswoman for the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said Aug. 19 that USDA and DHS Customs and Border Protection officials were in the process of analyzing the claims.

“APHIS and CBP are currently working closely with the pineapple industry to address their concerns while continuing to protect American agriculture.”

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Produce Guy    
Texas  |  August, 20, 2014 at 07:24 AM

I understand the need to keep our country safe, but what its happening with inspections at entry ports in the country is negligence (at best) or abuse of power (plain and simple) at worse. Containers get detained indefinitely for obscure reasons and then after several days of wait (by the time your cargo is completely spoiled)your container is suddenly released (if you are lucky)or rejected and you have to incur charges to send it back to the country of origin. Afterwards it takes an act of god to get a report from the authorities explaining why it got rejected and the report is vague and pretty much useless. This lack of information (afterwards) defeats the purpose of the rejection which should be to keep our country safe by TEACHING the shippers the mistakes they have made so that they can take corrective actions. We complain about not having enough quality jobs in the country. Why not hire 2x or 3x or whatever amount of inspectors are needed to get the job done in an efficient manner and charge the shippers for the inspections?? This would be a win/win for the country, for the shippers and for the consumers.

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