Washington apples

A rigorous trade protocol and a 17 per cent tariff have not deterred US apple exporters from contemplating a return to the Japanese market.

Good Fruit Grower has reported that Japanese inspectors recently visited a US packhouse, with at least two growers from the country’s Northwest region exploring the option of sending fruit to the Asian nation.

US apple exporters haven’t shipped to Japan in over a decade, mainly due to the high tariff rate and costs associated with meeting the import protocol, which requires methyl bromide fumigation and a 55-day cold treatment process.

“These packers have taken the expense into account, and they’re willing to give it a try,” Northwest Fruit Exporters manager Fred Scarlett toldGood Fruit Grower. “Obviously, they think they can make some money doing it.”