While China has shown growth, reaching more consumers in China is challenged by an underdeveloped infrastructure and lack of refrigerated trucks. Temperatures in the 90s and high humidity shorten the shelf life of unrefrigerated product, he said.
“The market is out there in demand but the biggest issue is control of logistics and the cold chain,” he said.
A recent Medfly detection in Los Angeles could complicate air shipments of cherries sent from Southern California ports to Australia, said Mike Willett, vice president for scientific affairs for the Northwest Horticultural Council, Yakima.
“That shouldn’t have too big of an impact on our folks because of the containers we ship are considered safeguarded,” Willett said.
The Northwest Horticultural Council is working with South Korea’s phytosanitary officials to seek approval of a systems approach for sweet cherry shipments, said Mark Powers, vice president of the council.