Magazine article Amber Waves

Imports of Many Fruits and Vegetables Dominated by Few Source Countries

Magazine article Amber Waves

Imports of Many Fruits and Vegetables Dominated by Few Source Countries

Article excerpt

Since 1990, per capita consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables has held steady, but the share of imports in U.S. consumption has increased, rising from 12 to 34 percent for fresh fruits (excluding bananas) and increasing from 10 to 34 percent for vegetables. Trade is thought to have played a major role in making a greater variety of produce items available outside the traditional U.S. growing season.

Despite the diversity of products available to U.S. consumers in modern food outlets, at any given time, the national sources of these products tend to be relatively concentrated among a few countries, with variability across commodities. One hypothesis is that this concentration is due in part to differing regulations limiting which countries can ship specific fresh goods to the U.S. market. However, recent ERS research focusing on 29 fresh fruits and vegetables finds that there is little correlation between source country concentration and regulatory treatment.

Under regulations governing fresh food imports, the USDA only permits fresh fruits and vegetables to be imported from countries which have demonstrated that they are free of potentially invasive and harmful foreign pests. In some cases, entry is only permitted if a treatment, such as fumigation or a hot water dip, is performed to mitigate the risk posed by a known pest. U.S. import markets for various fruits and vegetables tend to be dominated by only one or a few supplying countries, even when a substantially larger number of countries are approved to supply the U. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.