US CTFA Plum Packing

California’s plum industry has increased its market access in Asia with Japan opening its doors to fruit grown in the US state.

According to a report from California Ag Today, the USDA announced Japan had granted access to Californian plums following extensive negotiations that were partly delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) welcomed the news, thanking those involved in the process including the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and Agricultural Research Service as well as the Fresno County and Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner offices.

Ian LeMay, president of the CFFA, said access came with strict packing and fumigation protocols but the industry was confident in its ability to adhere to these, just as some exporters had done with nectarines.

“Trade barriers threaten the health and viability of the industry. This represents a significant opportunity for California plums, as Japanese consumers value premium fruit and recognise California fruit’s superior quality,” said LeMay.

“As the global economy rebounds from the Covid-19 pandemic, expanding market access will continue to be critical to the industry’s success.”