Avocados are everywhere; in commercials, discussed on health conscious websites, they are even popping up in fast food restaurants as burger garnishing. No longer just a seasonal fruit, avocados are available in the U.S. all year thanks to global trade. Although the U.S. is a major producer of avocados from California and Florida crops, it is also a major importer from countries such as Chile, the Dominican Republic and Peru.
Well recognized for quality, Spanish Hass avocados are known as one of the best avocados in Europe. Until recently though, Spanish Hass avocados were not permitted into the U.S. for fear of introducing new plant pests, particularly the Mediterranean Fruit Fly. Numerous studies conducted by American scientists concluded that the Hass cultivar, grown in Spain’s mainland, is not a carrier of the insect. Avocado batches not of the Hass variety will have to be treated for Mediterranean Fruit Fly control before they ship to the U.S. and shipments will need a Phytosanitary Certificate, with an additional declaration indicating that the avocados have been inspected and found pest-free under the requirements.
During a briefing on the EU-US trade negotiations between the European Commission and the U.S. in February (as mentioned in a previous PIERS blog), were discussions regarding the changes in regulations to allow the exporting of Spanish avocados to the U.S. After over ten years of bureaucratic wrangling, it looks like America is finally about to allow the import of avocados from Spain, excluding the Balaeric Islands and Canary Islands where the Mediterranean Fruit Fly flourishes.
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