PortMiami is scheduled to receive its first shipment of cold-treated grapes from Peru on December 1, part of a new Cold Treatment Pilot Program that recently went into effect allowing cold treated products to be imported directly from Peru to the Port.
Cold treatment is a process performed on fruits and vegetables that entails sustained refrigeration sufficient to kill pests associated with imported fruits and vegetables.
In the past, Peruvian products such as table grapes and blueberries could only enter the U.S. via certain northeastern ports; however, under a new pilot program that allows cold treatment products to be imported directly to PortMiami has opened up a new trade route for cold treatment products bound directly for Florida and the southeastern U.S.
Under the new pilot, grapes traveling to markets in Florida can be offloaded directly in Miami, increasing perishables shelf life, reducing trucking/transportation costs and lowering the carbon footprint of the product.
Thanks to the efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and the Florida Perishables Coalition, the first container of table grape is scheduled for arrival on December 1st, with more shipments already en-route. The produce will be cold treated prior to its departure from Peru and will arrive ready for immediate distribution and sale, creating new efficiencies regarding time to market.
PortMiami officials along with importers, growers and customs brokers have been working toward increasing the imports of Peruvian fruits to the United States, via PortMiami. Last month PortMiami Director Designee Juan Kuryla traveled to Peru with port stakeholders, and promoted the new pilot program in close coordination with Erick Aponte, head of the Miami Office of the Trade Commission of Peru.
“It is great to see that the combined efforts of the U.S. and Peruvian governments have paid off,” says Bill Johnson, Director of PortMiami. “Thanks to the efficient processing of cargo at PortMiami, this produce will be able to reach up to 70% of the U.S. population in four days or less. This opens up opportunities for both our countries and we look forward to increasing bi-lateral trade with Peru, and important trade partner.”
The new program and the exchange between Peru and PortMiami is a positive step for Peruvian growers and exporters, saving them time and money. The American side of the equation wins as well, benefitting from the faster, fresher arrival of goods.