( USDA )

U.S. imports of Ecuador tamarillos can begin July 5.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said June 4  that the egg-shaped fruit — also known as tree tomatoes — must be produced with a set of measures that includes field monitoring, pest control practices, inspection and other requirements.

Because tamarillos are not commercially grown in the U.S., the agency said that imports of the fruit won’t hurt U.S. growers.

The USDA said Ecuador has a total growing area of 650 acres for tamarillos, served by just one packinghouse. In 2014, statistics showed that Ecuador exported 5.1 metric tons of fresh tamarillos to Germany, Canada, Spain, Holland, Italy, and Japan in more than 130 small shipments.

Based on input from Ecuador industry sources, the USDA said it expects the U.S. will receive about 13 shipments per year, with total volume imported expected near 0.5 metric tons.

 
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