Coming soon: Fresh vegetables from the US

Posted at 07/11/14 6:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines - More fresh vegetables from the United States are coming soon to markets in the Philippines.

The US Embassy in Manila said the Philippines last June 30 formally lifted restrictions on the import of fresh celery, lettuce and cruciferous vegetables, which are difficult to grow locally, from producers in the United States.

"This exciting development will relieve shortages and deepen agricultural ties between the two nations," the embassy said.

US producers previously had limited access to the Philippine vegetable market, exporting $57,000 of such products, mostly celery, in 2013.

The US embassy said trade experts predict "open market access will help these sales to reach $1 million within two years."

The agreement reached with the Department of Agriculture (DA) ensures that all fresh vegetable shipments will have a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Phytosanitary Certificate.

The certificate will verify that the shipments meet all the stipulations of the Plant Quarantine SPS Import Clearance. As with all fresh vegetable trade, importers will be required to obtain an SPS Import Permit from the DA's Bureau of Plant Industry.