Patience is a virtue if you are wanting to get through the bureaucratic red tape and import South American lemons, at least those from Argentina. But the long wait is over as shipments are arriving at U.S. ports to be trucked across North America.
The first U.S. bound lemons in 17 years from Argentina’s Tucumán citrus growing region arrive this week after departing that South American country April 18th.
Argentina had been seeking to have exports of lemons to the U.S. allowed since 2001, when a U.S. District Court in California overturned a USDA rule from a year earlier allowing lemon imports from Argentina.
Argentina’s provinces of Tucumán, Salta and Jujuy will export between 15,000 and 20,000 metric tons of lemons to the U.S. during the 2018 season. Most of Argentina’s lemon shipments are expected in June and July.
Argentina’s lemon exports in 2017 totaled 241,000 metric tons, with the top destinations listed as Spain, Russia, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece and Canada.
Argentia’s lemons will be arriving in the U.S. through Citromax, Carlstadt, N.J.
The company has over 13,000 acres of lemons in Tucuman, Argentina. .
“We are very proud to say that Citromax is the only American-owned lemon producer that is packing and selling lemons into the United States retail market,” Vivian Glueck, president of the Citromax Group, said in a news release. “We are thrilled that the recent lifting of trade restrictions has opened up the U.S. market, and we are moving ahead with bringing the highest-quality lemon fruit to American consumers.”
A February court decision in favor of the USDA’s approval of the import of Argentine lemons allows the fruit into the U.S. for the first time in 17 years.
The lemons will carry Citromax brands, and are being imported by Seald Sweet, The Oppenheimer Group and Vision Import Group; those companies will also market the lemons.