U.S. weighing other Mexican states for avocado imports - The Packer

U.S. weighing other Mexican states for avocado imports

10/23/2012 09:58:00 AM
Andy Nelson

avocadosThe U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a request by Mexico to export avocados from different growing regions to the U.S.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is currently reviewing a Pest Risk Analysis, pest list and comments from SAGARPA, Mexico’s department of agriculture, said Tanya Espinosa, an APHIS spokeswoman.

If APHIS approves the request, hass avocados from other Mexican states could be exported to the U.S., Espinosa said.

Currently, the U.S. allows imports of Mexican avocados from the state of Michoacan only. A record 782 million pounds of avocados from Michoacan were shipped to the U.S. in 2011-12, up from 620 million pounds the season before.

Tom Bellamore, president of the Irvine-based California Avocado Commission, said he had not seen any proposals from Mexico, but was aware that other Mexican states were interested in exporting to the U.S.

Bellamore was cautiously optimistic that, should other Mexican states be allowed to export to the U.S., demand could keep up with the extra product.

“I guess my answer is, ‘I sure hope so,’” he said. “Growth potential still exists in the U.S. Avocados from elsewhere are an essential part of selling avocados in the U.S. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that there’s room for everyone.”

Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Irvine-based Hass Avocado Board, said the board was investing in nutritional research to stimulate demand.

“If you look at the success of the past ten years, the industry has seen tremendous growth, and I think there are opportunities to keep growing,” Escobedo said.

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Douglas Hinds    
Guadalajara  |  October, 24, 2012 at 10:09 AM

First of all, while individual groves (and possible the entire county of Uruapan, Michoacan - the world's major avocado producing area) have been declared free of the 2 Avocado Seed Borers (Stenoma catenifer & conotrachelus perseae Barber), the State of Michoacan as a whole is definitely NOT free of those two serious pests. Therefore, before any other region could even be considered for exporting their avocados to part (but not all) of the US Market (certainly not to any avocado producing area in the USA), each participating grove would have to demonstrate that both Avocado Seed Borers have been eliminated from both the grove and the surrounding area. Frankly, until Sagarpa (Mexico's equivalent to the USDA) institutes a pervasive and comprehensive program to eliminate these pests (along with the fruit fly) from Michoacan AND all states between Michoacan and the US Border* (at the very least - a nationwide program would be far better), Mexico's avocado exports will continue to occur in very limited quantities. *I will mention this to Mexico's next Secretary of Agriculture (who has yet to be named, but the coming Federal Administration will take office on December 1st, so we'll know very soon who it will be).

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