Mexico negotiates with the United States to expand avocado exports

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The Mexican Secretary of Agriculture “announced that progress is being made in negotiations with the United States Government to open avocado exports from Jalisco to the market of that country.”

The Mexican government is negotiating with the United States so that the country agrees to open avocado exports from Jalisco, a western Mexican state, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader).

“The Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, Víctor Villalobos Arámbula, reported that his counterpart from the United States, Thomas Vilsack, has shown interest in the matter,” the agency said in a statement.

Mexico is the world leader in the cultivation and export of this fruit, according to Sader, as it contributes one out of every three avocados that enter the international market, with a planted area of ​​241,000 hectares and a production of almost 2.4 million tons in 2020.

But about four-fifths of national production and almost all exports come only from Michoacán, a southwestern state with a production volume of more than 1.8 million tons per year.

For this reason, the Secretary of Agriculture of Mexico “announced that progress is being made in negotiations with the United States Government to open avocado exports from Jalisco to the market of that country.” “It is very likely that soon we will deliver the good news of the export of avocado from Jalisco, which will have an important impact for the state,” said Villalobos.

The importance of this fruit for Mexico lies in being the main agricultural export product. Only from January to September 2021, exports reached 2,187 million dollars, an increase of 5.55% compared to the same period in 2020, the secretariat observed.

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In all of 2020, Mexican avocado exports totaled 2,936 million dollars, an annual growth of 0.15% despite the pandemic, according to the Bank of Mexico (Banxico). “The main export destination is the United States. Other markets that buy the Mexican product are Japan, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, France, China, the United Kingdom, Honduras, South Korea and El Salvador, mainly ”, added Sader.

Mexico has anchored its growth perspective of more than 6% of GDP for 2020 to the new Agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada (T-MEC). The agri-food sector contributes 9.5% of the country’s exports with a value of more than 40,000 million dollars each year, according to the National Agricultural Council (CNA).

The avocado in the crosshairs: why some international chefs stopped consuming green gold

No one can resist guacamole. The creamy green gold pasta triumphs wherever it goes and there is no border that can resist a tortilla chip bathed in pure Mexican flavor.

The success of the salsa dipera is due to multiple factors. First, it allows you to sin without guilt because its consumption brings numerous health benefits. Second, it is a dish suitable for different types of diet: it captivates vegans, vegetarians, celiacs, meat lovers, fish-vegetarians, etc. In addition, the rapid preparation of the recipe and the ability to adapt it to all tastes – spicier, less spicy, with onion, without onion – make it a safe bet.

(PHOTO: JUAN JOSÉ ESTRADA SERAFÍN / CUARTOSCURO.COM)

In just a few years, the dish has unleashed an international boom. And although the hectares dedicated to the cultivation of avocado have increased throughout the planet, the world is aware that this fruit and all its derivatives are Mexican heritage, and this is reflected in the figures. During the 2021 season, the country exported more than one million tons to 34 different countries, including the US, Canada, Japan, France, El Salvador, Spain, Honduras, the Netherlands, and China.

However, behind this millionaire business, there is a problem that generates more and more concern and has even led some restaurants to substitute this food for other more sustainable options. This is how The Guardian explains it in a note that has caused many acrimonies in recent days.

The British newspaper recalls that avocado production “leaves a huge carbon footprint” and that each piece “requires 320 liters of water to grow.” This, the publication maintains, has led some establishments to modify their menu options, such as the Mexican chain Wahaca, which operates in the United Kingdom.

“The global demand [for avocado] is so great that it is becoming inaccessible to indigenous people living in the areas where it is grown,” Wahaca co-founder Thomasina Miers said in an interview with The Guardian.

It is true that global orders have pushed the price of avocado to chilling levels. In August, the kilo was sold in Spanish supermarkets for 306 Mexican pesos (€ 13). It is a luxury item that is produced on a large scale as if it were a staple food.

The rising cost of green gold and the “devastating” environmental impact of its production led the Wahaca restaurant chain to create an alternative inspired by Mexican salsa. This new recipe, which they called Wahamole, has beans, green chili, lime, and coriander. No avocado.

For Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City, University of London, the establishment’s decision shows that “parts of the food industry are beginning to realize the great problems we face as a result of intensive agriculture,” he explained to The Guardian. And the fact is that the production of this fruit is highly polluting, and its high demand has had serious consequences, such as deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and water scarcity.

Mexico Daily Post