Sequestration cuts don't harm produce — yet - The Packer

Sequestration cuts don't harm produce — yet

03/07/2013 05:26:00 PM
Tom Karst

Vegetable shipments from Mexico have not been held up, one distributor said.

“There have been rumors, but so far there are no delays,” said Alberto Maldonado, general manager of Apache Produce, Nogales, Ariz.. “Everybody is forecasting that, but the volume is so light it is hard to evaluate what is going to happen.”

While there are no reports of delays in border crossings for Canadian exports to the U.S. now, Fred Webber, chief executive officer and president of the Ottawa-based Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corp., said Canadian exporters were wary of U.S. cutbacks in staffing at border crossings.

“This is not the heaviest shipping time right now, not like it will be in the summertime,” he said. “The other message we need to get out to people is to check, double-check and triple-check your clearance documents, because if you get held back for a document issue you could be at the end of a very long line.”

Tom O’Brien, Washington, D.C.-based representative for the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association, said he believes that user-fee funded services like PACA and fruit and vegetable inspections won’t be affected by the sequester cuts.

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