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Guatemala Lifts US State Origin Restrictions for Potato Imports

Guatemala Lifts U.S. State Origin Restrictions

Guatemala's potato production has seen great progress in recent years, in part as a result of increased import of high quality seed potatoes.

May 31, 2018
Fresh and seed potatoes from all US states are now permitted entry into Guatemala, a welcome expansion of market access from only one state (Idaho) four years ago.

On May 14, 2018, the USDA confirmed simplified phytosanitary certificate requirements that eliminate previous state-by-state limitations. Potatoes USA worked closely with the USDA to fully open Guatemala to U.S. table-, chip- and seed-stock potatoes.

The small Central American country is a target market for Potatoes USA promotion programs. Potatoes USA hosted a Guatemalan plant health official in 2017 to attend the International Seed Symposium.

In 2017, Guatemala imported over 24,000 metric tons of U.S. potatoes and potato products, valued at $27.5 million, making it the U.S. potato industry's 13th-largest market globally.

Idaho Potato Commission Cooks up Consumer Programs in Guatemala

The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) and Imalinx, IPC’s Latin America office, put Idaho potatoes on the menu at a March consumer cooking program in Guatemala City.

Partnering with Guatemala’s NuChef Distrito Gastronómico, an interactive experience for consumers looking to hone their cooking skills, IPC and NuChef provided recipes for an entire meal using Idaho potatoes.

The 36 participants were greeted with fresh Idaho potato chips and then tried their hands at creating loaded baked potatoes with chicken, corn and au gratin, salad, and picture-perfect potato donuts for dessert.

A current Idaho customer, Guatemalan based Grupo Dispersa, provided fresh Idaho russets for the event, and the company’s executive chef offered his expert assistance to the cooking students as they worked.

Students take a stab at prepping Idaho potatoes during a Guatemala City cooking class.

The IPC brand gained more consumer exposure at a Guatemala City event in March.

Guatemala City cooking program participants enjoyed an Idaho potato meal they prepared themselves.

Idaho potato donuts rounded out the meal at the Distrito Gastronómico event in Guatemala City.

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The Idaho Potato Commission is a state agency with many responsibilities, including the promotion of Idaho Potatoes.
Potatoes USA - until recently named the United States Potato Board (USPB) - is the nation’s potato marketing organization. Potatoes USA is the central organizing force in implementing programs that will increase demand for potatoes.