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The volume shipped is still small

Spanish peppers sold in the US at optimal prices

North Americans from Arkansas to Michigan, from the East Coast to the West Coast, now under the government of Donald Trump, are again consuming peppers grown in the greenhouses of El Ejido or La Mojonera.

At the moment it is not a huge operation; the volumes shipped are not very large, barely half a pallet (400 kilos) with each shipment, but the importance of the US is more qualitative, since it is a strategic market with high demands, which has had a stable situation for years, with an average export of peppers totaling 3,000 tonnes, almost all supplied by the province of Almeria. The re-entry of Almeria's peppers to the US is taking place now, a year after sales were halted due to the detection of Mediterranean fly larvae in some batches.

Eight companies are now certified and have started exporting: Ejidomar, Mabe, Francisco Maleno, Indasol, Kopalmería, Unica Group, Acrena and Murgiverde. They will have until April, when the period of authorised export ends, to compete in this complex market.

Most of the sales are made under optimal prices to wholesale companies, which purchase a product that has to go through different sanitary inspections.

Almeria's peppers also have to compete directly against Mexican marketers to sell in the US market, as they enjoy lower logistics costs. The logistics is also more complicated for Almeria, as they have the obligation of sealing the goods well. Shipments are made by air, through Madrid's Barajas airport, or in some cases via Rotterdam.

Peppers are the only vegetable from Almeria with a protocol authorising its sale in the United States. After the closure of the market, technicians from the Ministry and the Regional Government of Andalusia visited the greenhouses affected and proceeded to review compliance with the required conditions and the export protocol. These actions were carried out in partnership with the producing and exporting sector to facilitate the collection of all the information required by the US Inspection Service.

The exchange of technical information between the Ministry and the US Inspection Service culminated in mid-November with a visit by a delegation of North American technicians, which was convinced that the phytosanitary controls and certification system were strictly enforced.

The IT application from the Ministry for the management of vegetable imports and exports has been especially appreciated by the US Inspection Service as a key element to ensure confidence in the phytosanitary controls and certification system.


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