Thursday, December 29, 2016

Accepting Argentine lemons will be a lengthy process

The USDA finally got back to me about the citrus industry's complaints over the government's decision to allow Argentine lemons into the country again after a 15-year ban. Spokeswoman Suzanne Bond said in an email:
Publishing the final rule is one of several steps that must be completed before Argentina may begin shipping lemons to the United States. APHIS and Argentina’s National Plant Protection Organization (SENASA) must now finalize and sign the operational work plan, which details the conditions Argentina must meet for every U.S.-bound lemon shipment. Additionally, SENASA will have to collect and APHIS will have to verify six months of fruit fly trapping data. APHIS will also have to verify that packinghouses have met the safeguarding requirements outlined in the operational work plan. Until these steps are completed, APHIS will not issue import permits for Argentine lemons.
For my update (including a response from the industry), check soon.

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