Monday, February 26, 2024

The US has reopened the border to red peppers from the Almeria greenhouse

The US has reopened its doors to Almeria red pepper after a year of suspension due to the detection of Mediterranean fly larvae from eleven greenhouses in the province. The measure was adopted in December 2022 when Customs and Border Protection inspectors at Kennedy Airport in New York intercepted five live fly larvae in commercial cargo.

Spain’s National Plant Protection Organization searched eleven greenhouses in Almería and found minor structural damage to the plastic covers in seven of them. These greenhouses passed official inspections in August 2022, but storms and winds subsequently occurred that caused damage and destruction of the greenhouses, which facilitated the entry of the Mediterranean fly.

In October 2023, a team from the United States Agricultural Health Inspection Service visited the same red pepper-growing facilities. It has been determined that Mediterranean fly abatement measures already meet US import requirements. The team also noted that packing plants have the ability to successfully implement import requirements, such as fruit protection and packaging, within 24 hours of picking.

The North American agency determined that the phytosanitary import requirements for fresh red pepper from Spain are sufficient to reduce the risk of the introduction of the Mediterranean fly. The US Inspection Service, therefore, changed the Federal Order prohibiting the import of red pepper from Spain with immediate effect, and the Almeria greenhouse can continue to export this vegetable.

The United States is the world’s largest importer of fresh fruit and vegetables, exceeding the value of 20 million tons worth 25 billion euros. In 2021, Spain, mainly in Almería and Murcia, will export 33,000 tons of fruit and vegetables to the United States, according to producers’ associations.

World Nation News Desk
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