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.
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.
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.
Port officials along with importers, growers and customs brokers have been working toward increasing the imports of Peruvian fruits to the United States.
“It is great to see that the combined efforts of the U.S. and Peruvian governments have paid off,” says port director Bill Johnson. “This opens up opportunities for both our countries and we look forward to increasing bi-lateral trade with Peru, an important trade partner.”
The shipment will arrive just days after long-awaited work began to dredge the port’s channel to the 50 ft depth necessary to accommodate the larger ships that will transit the re-opened Panama Canal.
The US$220m project, being managed by the US Army Corps. of Engineers and undertaken by the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., will be completed in two phases and will see approximately 2.1m cubic yards removed from the seabed.
In a statement announcing the start of the ambitious project, Johnson said that the 18-month project “will pay dividends in years to come.”