The Costa Rican company, Hacienda Tobosi S.A (Tomatissimo), sent the first container with 20 thousand kilograms of hydroponic tomato from Puerto Moín to Port of Miami. This, after reactivating the systems approach program for exports to that North American country, suspended since 2014.
The Agricultural Health Inspection Service (APHIS) approved the company’s work plan that shows that it meets the requirements to export to that destination, under the supervision of the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG).
An important success
Jorge Gutiérrez, manager of the firm, commented that after five years of process, “we achieved with the important support of the agricultural institutions, Comex and Procomer, this first shipment that represents a success for Costa Rica and for our company.”
“Our hydroponic tomatoes are certified by fast food franchise chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King, of which we are already suppliers here in Costa Rica. Also because it is a certified product free of chemical residues by the SFE, something is highly desired in the kosher community”, he said.
The reactivation of the tomato export program to the United States is carried out under a systems approach within a Work Plan signed in January by APHIS-SFE. For this, site inspections are carried out, monitoring of pests of phytosanitary interest, inside and outside greenhouses, as well as all process areas such as areas of unloading and loading of fruit, containers and the packing plant.
For exports to materialize, the SFE inspects the site to facilitate the operation and establishes quality control procedures for the trapping program. APHIS and SFE will oversee operations at production sites and packing facilities, as well as certify exports of tomatoes to the United States.
Regarding the international market, it has been indicated that the location of Costa Rica with respect to the Caribbean Islands, some countries of the isthmus and North America give it the possibility of working during the 12 months of the year with commercial windows by geographical area.