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Camellia Aebischer

BY CAMELLIA AEBISCHER

Vietnam open to US blueberries

Growers prepare for shipments this season following market access approval earlier this month

Vietnam open to US blueberries

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US blueberry growers will be able to take advantage of the nation’s good reputation for fresh produce in Vietnam as market access has been secured for the fruit.

On 13 February a letter to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the director general of Vietnam’s equivalent department wrote to inform that the Asian nation would officially grant access to US blueberries as of 15 February.

Capital Press reported the letter also included a note that import permits will be granted on a systems approach, and that APHIS will be required to ensure efficacy and mitigate risk of introducing pests.

Mid-West Family Broadcasting reported a delegation from Vietnam toured Michigan’s blueberry region last summer, hosted by the Michigan Blueberry Commission.

The delegation reviewed the regions facilities and were interested in seeing the process for stabilising berries for long-haul shipments.

Bryan Ostlund, administrator of the Oregon Blueberry Commission said efforts to open the market can be traced back to 2014.

“We have been chipping away at it ever since,” Ostlund said. “We had a feeling it was close (to opening). To actually see a signed document is just great.”

“This is a big deal - it is a significant market and the US has a great reputation there. We have a great product to offer, and now here we go.”

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