APL said it has brought in the first cargo of Peruvian grapes here, clearing local pest control import requirements through cold treatment technology applied on the fruit during their transit from Paita to Miami.
Consigned by Complejo Agroindustrial Beta, a producer of table grapes in Peru, some 1,600 boxes of Thomson seedless grapes arrived at the Port of Miami as part of a six-month long cold treatment pilot program aimed at assessing the feasibility of importing ‘cold-treated’ Peruvian fresh produce into Florida.
Import protocols for fruit and vegetables vary across the U.S. states. Since 2006, APL has been shipping cold-treated Peruvian grapes to California.
By subjecting the fresh produce cargoes to a specified low temperature sustained throughout the transit, cold treatment eradicates pests carried in the cargoes prior to arrival at the export destination.
“Cold treatment is an environmentally-friendly alternative to fumigation-based pest control methods that emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,” said APL Vice President for Global Reefer Trade Eric Eng. “Its increasing acceptance by the US Department of Agriculture and other import authorities around the world enhances the overall viability of shipping fresh produce by sea.”
Shipper Complejo Agroindustrial Beta agrees. “As a major fruit exporter in Peru, we have been working with APL to ship cold-treated fruit produce to markets as distant as Asia,” a company spokesman said. “Given APL’s industry-leading success rate in the application of cold treatment technology, we’re confident that it will help us deliver excellent results in the Florida pilot program.”
To mark the arrival of the first Peruvian grape shipment to Miami, Bill Johnson, Director of PortMiami, presented APL with a commemorative plaque.
“This inaugural shipment is an exciting milestone,” said Mr Johnson. “We’re hopeful that the cold treatment pilot program will pave the way for a steady supply of excellent Peruvian fruit produce into Miami and the rest of Florida for everyone here to enjoy.”
Besides its success with the Peruvian grapes, APL is also the first container carrier to effectively apply cold treatment in the shipping of lychees from China to USA; grapes from Australia to China; and grapefruit from Mexico to Japan.