Systems Approach has been approved and is awaiting its publication in the US Federal Register

Frutas de Chile

Representatives from Frutas de Chile met with two senators of Chile’s Atacama Region, Yasna Provoste and Rafael Prohens, this week to push for progress in the approval of a Systems Approach protocol for grape exports to the US.

For more than two decades, Chile has been trying to persuade the US to allow shipments of table grapes from northern Chile without needing methyl bromide fumigation. But progress has been painstakingly slow.

Hopes were high that Chile would get the official green light in time of the current export season, but final publication has been delayed by an issue related to US cheeses and the update of the Free Trade Agreement between Chile and the European Union.

Senator Provoste said: “We have a common purpose, which is to improve the position of Chilean table grapes in international markets, particularly the US, which is the main destination of the region’s grapes.

“Alongside Senator Rafael Prohens, we have stated that we must find a solution urgently because we expected that in the 2023/24 season, the system would be in place. This has been years of work, decades of negotiations and preparation, in which farmers have made significant investments, as well as the State”.

Iván Marambio, president of Frutas de Chile, described the meeting as “very positive”. He said the association had met with US authorities as well those in Chile to try and clear the final hurdle.

“The Systems Approach protocol is approved by the phytosanitary agencies of both countries (USDA in the US and SAG in Chile) and is only awaiting its publication in the US Federal Register, such as the Official Gazette, in order to be able to implement it for exports of table grapes from Atacama, Coquimbo and Valparaíso,” Marambio noted.