Because of the disruption in the harvest in Chile, exporters will lose the ability to distribute its crop, according to the release. What’s more, table grape crops from Mexico and Southern California are expected to arrive 10 days to 12 days later than normal, the release said, leaving an ample marketing window for Chile grapes in April.
Tensions between Chile and California over the overlap of the winter grape season and the start of the domestic deal have been around for about two decades.
In 2001, California desert grape growers filed an anti-dumping petition against Chilean grape imports. In 2005, a proposed rule from the USDA (supported by California desert grape growers) would have moved the date of the marketing order to April 1.
In 2009, the USDA moved the effective date of the marketing order from April 20 to April 10.
Tony Bianco, president of Coachella-based Desert Fresh Inc., said the Coachella Valley will begin the first 10 days of May.