More Phytosanitary Controls on Agricultural Exports

Pineapple exporters claim to have lost $2.3 million since the authorities started making additional inspections of containers at ports of departure.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Arguing that in April an increased presence of insects was detected in containers of pineapples exported to the United States, the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) has tightened control measures, which are no longer limited to inspections on farms and packing plants, but also include an extra inspection at ports of departure.

"... Abel Chaves, president of the National Chamber of Producers and Exporters of Pineapples (Canapep), warned that there is not the capacity in the yards to attend to 2,000 containers per week. That, he added, is delaying departure of the fruit and some of it is not arriving in time to go out on the boats."

The Minister of the MAG, Luis Felipe Arauz, told Nacion.com that "... the measure is hard, but it is being applied because of a strong increase, dectected in April, of pest interceptions on entry into the United States. Interceptions of pineapple in the United States because of the presence of insects, occurred in 98 cases between January and April 2015, compared to the 129 cases in the same period this year, acknowledged Canapep. But Chaves said that only 10 cases were returned to Costa Rica and that this increase did not cause concerns in the US, as others have said."

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More on this topic

Pineapple Production and its Challenges

July 2019

At the beginning of 2019 there were 44,500 hectares dedicated to fruit cultivation in Costa Rica, however, because of high production costs and a drop in international prices, by 2021 the cultivated area could fall to 38,000 hectares.

Directors of the National Chamber of Pineapple Producers and Exporters (Canapep) explained that the fall in the price of pineapple internationally is because of increased competition, since countries such as Colombia, Ecuador and Panama, have managed to gain market share in the U.S. and Europe.

Cochineal in Pineapples Sent from Costa Rica to USA

July 2016

In the first half of the year interceptions of goods in the US suspected of being contaminated with insects rose by 32% compared to the same period in 2015.

Data provided by the health authorities of the United States to Costa Rica indicates that most of the detained shipments were stopped on suspicion of the presence of the cochineal bug.

Costa Rica: Political Changes in Phytosanitary Controls

June 2016

The departure of the director of the SFE could improve dialogue between authorities and agribusiness after months of confrontation over the imposition of non tariff barriers.

The minister of Agriculture called for the resignation of Francisco Dall'Anese, after the previous director of the SFE did not abide by the recommendation of the Ministry to suspend the additional measure of Inspection of Containers of pineapples at ports.

In a statement issued by the Ministry, the chief Luis Felipe Arauz said 'I, as Minister, asked her to resign. It is absolutely false that the deputy minister signed any certificates that were not inspected. She asked for, and I supported,  a return to the system of inspections in packing plants and in the field, in this way strengthening controls in order to improve the issue of INTs in pineapples'."

Nacion.com reports that "...From yesterday afternoon, explained Arauz, controls on pineapple exports at the port were suspended and measures were streamlined in order to reinforce SFE staff carrying out inspections in the field with six officials from the MAG as well as a plan to train inspectors from companies in coordination with the United States Department of Agriculture. "

See also: "Costa Rica: A Year Without Mexican Avocados"

In relation to the conflict over the ban on imports of avocados from Mexico, the minister was clear that the situation remains the same. "...After repeating several times that the dispute was only on the issue of changes in pineapple controls, minister Arauz said that support is being maintained for other controversial measures taken by the now former director of the SFE, such as the issue of Hass avocados."

Costa Rican Pineapples Going to Chinese Market

September 2014

Chinese health authorities are inspecting plants and pineapple farms in the country as part of the process of market opening for the Costa Rican fruit.

In addition to inspections on farms and plants, a technical mission to China has verified health checks undertaken by the laboratories of the State Phytosanitary Service.

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