Effective Oct. 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved imports of fresh persimmons with calyxes from Japan.
As a condition of entry, persimmons must be produced under a systems approach that includes requirements for orchard certification, orchard pest control, post-harvest safeguards, fruit culling, traceback and sampling, according to the final rule.
The USDA said in the regulation that U.S. persimmon production takes place in California, where 2013 production totaled about 35,700 metric tons valued at $40 million, triple the 2011 level of production.
The USDA said U.S. persimmon imports in 2014 totaled 1,757 metric tons valued at about $3 million, $2 million of which were imported from Israel and $0.4 million from Spain.
The U.S. is a net exporter of fresh persimmons, with the value of exports totaling about $6 million in 2014, according to the agency.
Japan’s persimmon acreage and production have been gradually declining over the last decade, and the country only exported only about 578 metric tons last year.
Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries expects 30 to 50 metric tons of Japan’s fresh persimmons will be exported to the U.S. in the first year, with same or additional amounts in following years. That level of imports won’t have a big impact on the California persimmon industry, the USDA said.