Entry of more PH pineapples and mangoes to U.S. could be allowed soon
More Philippine-grown pineapples and mangoes could enter the U.S. after the two countries’ authorities reportedly agreed to resolve pending issues on the entry of the agricultural products.
Agricultural authorities of both countries have reportedly agreed to thresh out several pending issues during a virtual meeting on Aug.12, according to a statement from the Philippine Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI).
With this recent agreement with the USDA-APHIS, the Philippines could dramatically increase exports of pineapples and resume shipments of mangoes to the U.S. through additional ports of entry, the Agriculture department said.
Fresh Philippine pineapples currently reach the U.S. through Guam, Commonwealth of Marianas Island, and North Atlantic regions, according to the Department of Agriculture.
From 2013 to July 15, 2021, exports amounted to only 346,190 kilograms.
Fresh Philippine mango exports to the U.S, from 2005 to 2008 totaled 386,099 kilograms, all produced in Guimaras Island, the department said.
The USDA-APHIS has accepted evidence that the “Smooth Cayenne,” the Philippines’ main export pineapple variety, is not a host to the oriental fruit fly, according to a report to Philippine Agriculture Secretary William Dar by Joselito Antioquia, officer-in-charge chief of the DA-BPI national plant quarantine services division.
The fruit pest, known scientifically as Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), is very destructive and often finds its way into the U.S., sometimes triggering wide-scale eradication programs.
After the DA-BPI agrees on the measures, APHIS will publish the initial notice in the Federal Register for a 60-day stakeholder comment period, review any comments, and then publish the final notice that allows the expanded market access for Philippine pineapples into the US, except Hawaii, he said.
The Philippines may start shipping pineapples to various U.S. markets before yearend, he added.
Moreover, the USDA-APHIS agreed to draft an operational work plan (OWP) for irradiation of Philippine fresh mangoes upon arrival in the U.S.