A Taiwanese Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine delegation visited Washington apple orchards last week. Mark Powers, with the Northwest Horticultural Council, explains that Taiwan routinely sends such a delegation.
POWERS: They come over every year to the Pacific Northwest and choose a couple of apple packing houses to visit, some apple orchards. There’s a work plan that our exporters have to follow in order to send apples to Taiwan, and this is part of that annual process that we have to go through.
What, if anything, do they expect to find?
POWERS: Hopefully, no surprises. It continues to be business as usual in the sense of codling moth - their pest of concern. We continue to argue and present the fact that we don’t think codling moth should be treated as a significant pest for quarantine concern. And we continue to gather and present data supporting that argument, but so far we have been unable to get any kind of serious engagement on the part of the Taiwanese plant quarantine folks to really say, “okay, we can ratchet back the work plan, or we can change the penalty system, or we can actually engage in a way that would be more friendly towards trade”.
Taiwan requires orchard sampling to ensure that fruit are codling moth free prior to packing. Included in the export work plan Powers mentioned is a three “strikes” detection stipulation. Three detections of codling moth larva in apple shipments to Taiwan from U.S. growers results in the immediate suspension of the U.S. Apple Export Program to Taiwan.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Ag Information Network.