The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Aphis) has issued a pest risk assessment that could clear the way for imports of fresh peppers from Ecuador. Aphis is inviting comments on the proposed rule for a 30-day period.
The US is the biggest consumer of chilli and bell peppers in the world and the biggest importer of fresh peppers.
According to a 2013 USDA report, per capita consumption has been rising steadily at round 2 per cent a year since 2000. In 2012, per capita use stood at just over 11lbs. Imports account for approximately half of the peppers consumed, with Mexico supplying over 75 per cent of this volume.