After more than two decades of negotiation US approves new protocol for Chilean table grapes replacing methyl bromide fumigation

Chile has successfully secured a Systems Approach for table grape exports to the US after 24 years of negotiation.

According to a release from the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture’s Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies, the Systems Approach was confirmed on 28 June. The new protocol replaces methyl bromide fumigation with a series of mitigation measures at source.

Minister of Agriculture, Esteban Valenzuela, praised the approval and explained it will benefit table grapes in the regions of Atacama, Coquimbo and part of Valparaíso, which are large producers and exporters of table grapes destined for the US.

He said Chile would continue to work with the industry and the US to add the production from the Metropolitan region, O’Higgins and Maule to the protocol.

In 2023, Chilean grape exports totalled US$905m and shipments to the US accounted for US$431m.

Frutas de Chile, president Iván Marambio, said the approval of the Systems Approach was a historic milestone for the country’s table grape industry.

“With this we have the possibility of reaching 60 per cent of the grapes that Chile exports to the world without fumigation, which is extraordinary and brings us closer to other origins in terms of competitiveness and the way we reach the American consumer,” he said.

President of Fedefruta, Víctor Catán salso said it was important breakthrough for growers and those who work in the production of table grapes.

“It levels the playing field that has been uneven for many years and that did not allow us to compete equally with other suppliers. In addition, it allows us to bring better quality fruit to the American market, to consumers, who are our great allies in the fruit sector,” said Catán.