The Chilean market is an important market for Ecuador, but the recently added phytosanitary measures are an eyesore for the exporters. It is said that this is the strictest phytosanitary measure that Ecuador has received in recent years.
Emergency resolution for bananas and cut flowers
Due to the continuous interceptions by live insects in Ecuadorian flowers and other products that are imported into Chile, Chile's agricultural inspection service, Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero (SAG), announced an emergency resolution regarding the imports of bananas and cut flowers from Chile on October 1st. It consists several adjustments, but the Ecuadorian cut flower exporters, two adjustments are standing out, but in a bad way, explains Alex Bustos Green Control, an Ecuadorian company dedicated to providing fumigation services for perishable and non-perishable products for pest control using the technology developed by Fosfoquim in Chile. This technology is the replace of the Methil bromide in the world. "We are already working in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, New Zealand, Australia and United States. Ecuador is the first country in the tropics where we will begin to work. We are working closely with the Ecuadorian sanitary authority to find solutions to phytosanitary problems."
A picture of Green Control's equipment.
"The Ecuadorian flowers are mostly transported by sea to Chile and now, they can only fill the 80% of the container because the Chilean authorities needs space if they need to fumigate for pests (insects). On top of that, next time they find a live insect, the exporter will be suspended indefinitely. The flowers may not have plastics and foams in the packing."
Importance of Chile for Ecuadorian cut flower exporters
The Chilean market is important for Ecuadorian exporters as it is located in the southern hemisphere. "So, when the northern hemisphere is in summer and the sales of flowers is low, Chile buys an a good prices with good volumes." In 2019, according to data from the Central Bank of Ecuador, 2552.88 tons of flowers were exported to Chile (all species) worth US$12,122,660. Roses are 80% of the imports in Chile and bananas are 245.00 tons worth US$ 80,000,000.
According to Bustos, there are several consequences. "Firstly, exporters cannot focus on just one market, like Chile to comply to their rules, even less now during this pandemic. Secondly, prescind from any market and less now in the pandemic. Third, it is not a good precedent for the country in phytosanitary issues. Finally, a few months ago Ecuador just signed a free trade agreement with Chile, entering with sanitary problems is not good."
According to Bustos, there are several consequences. "Firstly, exporters cannot do without any market even less now during this pandemic. Second, it is not a good precedent for the country in phytosanitary issues, Finally, a few months ago Ecuador just signed a free trade agreement with Chile, entering with sanitary problems is not good."