Japan eases fumigation mandate on Washington cherries
Cherry growers in Washington state will no longer have to fumigate cherries before exporting to Japan, the state's agriculture director said last week.
Japan has agreed to relax its regulations on cherry exports, according to a report Saturday in the Tricity Herald.
'Under the new agreement, cherry shipments into the country that have been certified free of pests by American and Japanese inspectors at the border will be allowed in the country,' the report said.
Jim Archer, manager of Northwest Fruit Exporters in Yakima, told the newspaper that not having to fumigate will ease the cost burden on exporters because fumigating is expensive and reduces the fruit's shelf life. That will allow shippers to avoid costly air freight and use ocean freight instead.
Japanese regulators were concerned that cherry shipments might contain codling moths, an orchard insect pest, but research has shown that Washington cherries don’t pose that risk, Washington Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse said.
The agreement also applies to growers in Oregon.