Chris KogerJorge Ceja Espinoza, manager at the San Lorenzo packinghouse in Uruapan, explains that each box of avocados packed for the U.S. market get tracking numbers immediately before they are palletized.Genel said APEAM has transformed since the U.S. allowed Mexican avocados to cross the border in 1997, after an eight-decade hiatus for phytosanitary concerns. At first, a pre-cursor to the group focused on proving to the U.S. the avocados were safe. Gavito said since 1997, 40 million avocados have been cut, but no Mexfly larva have been found.
“The most important thing (about APEAM) is organization among a community, an industry and the commodity,” Genel said. “We’re thinking about the whole market, not just my part of the market. The growers and packers realize they are part of a huge thing, the avocado industry.”
Despite the U.S. approval of Peruvian avocados in 2011, Gavito said there’s room for the extra volume. As with all shippers of hass avocados in the U.S., the Peruvian industry will support promotions through Hass Avocado Board assessments.
Peru’s exports to the U.S. are minimal so far, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture reporting less than 21 million pounds to date this season entering the U.S., compared to the 38 million pounds Mexico sent during one week in mid-April.