A leading asparagus importer has the green light to ship unfumigated Peruvian asparagus to Canada via Miami.

Miami-based Alpine Fresh received an in-transit permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to send unfumigated asparagus to Canada, said Walter Yager, the company’s chief executive officer.

Peruvian asparagus shipped to the U.S. must be fumigated.

On Nov. 7, Alpine Fresh shipped 26,640 pounds of fresh-market Peruvian asparagus from Miami to Canada, Yager said.

Previously, he said, unfumigated asparagus had to be shipped through New York or airlifted directly to Canada, which was expensive.

Shipping unfumigated product through Miami saves on logistics and presents Canadian retailers with better quality and longer shelf life, Yager said.

“It adds another five to seven days of shelf life, and Canada is our northernmost market,” he said.

“It needs the longest shelf life.”

The USDA ruling should open the door for rapidly expanding fresh asparagus markets in Canada, Yager said.