Published: April 8, 2021

Category: GMO News

India has been Washington State’s 12th largest apple export customer, but on March 1, 2021, its Food Safety and Standards Authority began requiring fruits and vegetables imports to carry non-GMO certificates.

The U.S. pressured India to drop demand for GMO-free documentation, insisting that it was an “unreasonable” request since over 90% of U.S. apple exports are the Red Delicious variety, which has never been a genetically modified food. Initially Mark Powers, head of the Northwest Horticultural Council, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture “does not” issue such non-GMO certificates on exports and may never.

However, the Washington State Department of Agriculture did finally agree, and shipments were scheduled to resume as soon as the supply chain is primed, Powers said.

This season has seen a sharp decline in Washington apple exports to India—it was down 64% by the end of February 2021, from 1 million cartons in 2019/2020 to just over 380,000 cartons. Causes for the slump were a harsh 70% tariff in India, higher FOB prices, and a shortage of ocean cargo space. Washington Apple Commission president Todd Fryhover said his group is discussing how to promote trade in the India market.

“It will be interesting to see how the industry responds with the new certificate requirement and continued ocean container issues,” Fryhover said.

Source: Fruitnet

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Organic & Non-GMO Insights April 2021