BRASILIA: The Brazilian apple industry expects to capitalize on Indian market opportunities thanks to a recently revised protocol that removes methyl bromide treatment requirements.
Announced in the Gazette of India, the new protocol allows for cold treatment pre-shipment and in transit for 40 days.
The breakthrough follows years of negotiations from both countries’ agricultural officials and industry, with complaints from the Brazilian side that not only was the methyl bromide protocol potentially damaging to the environment, but it also brought uncertainty to exporters as it went up for review on an annual basis.
“I am sure that by 2018 India will be the biggest destination for our exports of fresh apples,” Brazilian Apple Growers’ Association (ABPM) executive director Moisés Lopes de Albuquerque said in a release.
Out of the US$18 million worth of apples exported by the South American country last year, or 30,646 metric tons (MT), US$5.3 million went to Indian neighbor Bangladesh.
Other leading markets for the Brazilian fresh apple export industry include the Netherlands (US$2.17 million), Portugal (US$2.1 million), Ireland (US$1.9 million) and Russia (US$1.5 million).
Brazil’s exports to India last year totaled just US$253,575.
The majority of Brazil’s apple production is in the country’s southern states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.