IFPA comments on Mexican avocado situation

Amid the U.S. suspension of approving avocados for export from the Mexican state of Michoacan, the International Fresh Produce Association said Thursday it has been engaged with both U.S. and Mexican officials and members who grow, transport and distribute avocados to U.S. consumers “to assess the situation.”

“We understand at this point the U.S. government has officials on the ground working through an investigation with their Mexican counterparts surrounding a threat to a USDA official,” IFPA said.

“We have been assured this is a high priority for both governments to first assure the safety of government officials and people who work in the avocado industry. Once this is determined and a safety protocol can be agreed upon by both countries, we expect USDA to resume inspections. IFPA remains committed to ensuring that international trade can resume between the two countries, and that the matter can be resolved quickly and safely for those involved.”

Mexico is negotiating security guarantees for U.S. inspectors who certify Mexican avocados for export, the Associated Press reported. The inspections were halted last week after one of the U.S. inspectors was threatened in the western state of Michaoacan, where growers are routinely subject to extortion by drug cartels, AP noted.

–The Hagstrom Report

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