2015 ALGA USA Export update

The approval to export Australian Lychees into the continental United States with the exception of the State of Florida was announced in 2013.

An Operational Work Plan (OWP) was developed jointly by the United States Dept of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of Australia. 

This is a trial 3-year pilot program and during this period the OWP will be reviewed and modified each year as needed to reflect changes to the program operations. 

2015/2016 lychee season will be year 1 of the 3 year trial and growers participating in the 1st year’s trial will need to register their orchards/blocks with ALGA. Registration applications will then be forwarded to growers, once completed, the application forms are then returned to ALGA for checking before the applications are forwarded onto Dept of Agriculture Canberra.

Orchard and packhouse audits will be arranged, firstly by Dept of Agriculture and then followed by United States Dept of Agriculture. There are very strict OWP compliance requirements which growers/packhouses need to comply and commit to which include:

  • Shed/packhouse hygiene

  • Shed/packhouse audit and approval

  • Identifying & monitoring pest and diseases of quarantine concern

  • Appointing a registered pest monitor

  • Traceability and up to date records and spray diaries

  • US export fruit to be segregated from all other fruit

  • Freshcare certification or similar Food Safety Standard certification

  • Industry Quality Control standards must be followed

  • To fully understand and comply with US chemical MRL’s

  • To fully understand and comply with ALGA approved packaging for the US

  • All export fruit must be sent to an approved irradiation treatment facility - Steritech

  • Detailed label/sticker with grower identification, markings and irradiation symbol

  • Growers will need to use an approved marketing agent

  • Growers will need to register on the FDA-US Food & Drug Associations website

  • As at 1st August 2015 there are new “Enhanced Air Cargo Examination” requirements to be implemented. Updates to these requirements will be advised.

As 2015/2016 season will be year 1 of the 3 year trial, there will mostly likely be a number of issues and challengers that ALGA will need to resolve to ensure all requirements in the OWP are met. Because of this, there will be a limited number of growers participating in year 1 and this will clear the way and open up the US export market to more growers in the following 2 years of the trial as well as future lychee seasons.