Northwest Hort on Australia: a tough nut to crack - The Packer

Northwest Hort on Australia: a tough nut to crack

10/05/2010 02:36:28 AM
Tom Karst

Potential Increase in Exports
Resolving the phytosanitary barrier in Australia would result in an increase of less than $5 million in sales each year.


Phytosanitary Issues

Varietal Approval: Japan individually approves each new variety of fresh cherry following fumigation trials. Although 16 varieties have already been approved, this process continues. USDA has submitted research to Japanese quarantine officials illustrating that the efficacy of methyl bromide treatment does not differ between cultivars (varieties).

Japan should accept that fresh sweet cherries are a single commodity and approve all U.S. varieties for import. The current approval method serves as a trade barrier and restricts trade for newer varieties. There is no scientific basis for Japan’s current position for additional testing for each variety.

Fumigation on Arrival: In 2009, for the first time, the Pacific Northwest exported non-fumigated cherries to Japan under a systems approach. Although unlikely, it is possible that Western cherry fruit fly, (Rhagoletis indifferens), could be detected upon arrival at port of entry. If that occurs, under the work plan, the product must be destroyed or re-exported.

Cherries have been exported to Japan for over 30 years under the methyl bromide fumigation protocol, yet Japan does not allow fumigation on arrival for Western cherry fruit fly. The cherry exporters and importers need to have this option available as the use of the systems approach increases in the coming years. Although the MAFF agency was presented with the efficacy data on methyl bromide fumigation for Western cherry fruit fly many years ago, the United States re-submitted the data last season to Japan's MAFF agency. We request that USTR press for acceptance of methyl bromide fumigation treatment of cherries as a quarantine measure.

Potential Increase in Exports

The value of Pacific Northwest cherry exports to Japan would increase by up to $5 million annually if all varieties of fresh sweet cherries were approved under the current fumigation work plan for U.S. cherries.

Phytosanitary Trade Barrier

Japan maintains a fumigation requirement on U.S. apples, which significantly increases the cost and reduces the quality of apples shipped to Japan.

Potential Increase in Exports

In the 2008-09 marketing year, there were no Pacific Northwest apples exported to Japan. If the fumigation restrictions cited above were eliminated, Japan could grow into a $10 million market in the near term and larger in the long term.

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