The United States lifted a temporary ban on avocados from Mexico on Friday, allowing exports of the fruit to resume, the US Department of Agriculture said.
The ban was issued on February 11 after a verbal threat was made for a US inspector working in the country. That prompted the USDA to warn that the suspension would “remain for as long as necessary to ensure appropriate actions are taken” to ensure the safety of ombudsman service officers working in Mexico. .
On Friday, the ministry said in a declare that it was working with agencies in Mexico to enact safety measures for its inspectors. It did not detail those measures.
“The safety of USDA employees simply doing their jobs is paramount,” the department said. “USDA appreciates that the active partnership between the United States and Mexico has helped to resolve this matter in a timely manner.”
The ban is expected to negatively affect the western Mexican state of Michoacán, the only region in Mexico that is allowed to ship avocados to the United States.
Total annual exports there are close to $3 billion, with the majority going to the United States, where 80 percent of avocados consumed come from Mexico and the average price of $1.43 an avocado is nearly 11 percent higher than the average. A year ago.
Details of the threat made to the employee have not been made public. However, the avocado industry has attracted the attention of drug cartels over the past decade, which have become more fragmented and seek to diversify their sources of illicit income.
The Mexican Association of Avocado Exporters and Producers, which represents 29,000 avocado farmers and 65 packers in Michoacán, said in a statement. declare on Friday that it proposed creating an “intelligence and security unit” within the association to “support the export program.”
Both countries agreed to the proposal, which also included a security plan from the Michoacán government, although specifics of that plan were not released.
Armando López Orduña, the association’s general manager, thanked Mexico and the United States, saying their support had avoided “a supply impact to the extent possible”.
Mexican avocado exports to the United States will resume on Monday.
The ban comes just before one of the avocado industry’s biggest events, the Super Bowl. Concern is growing about whether the ban will affect the industry’s other big day of the year, Cinco de Mayo.
Mark Davidson, plant and animal quarantine program manager, said in a statement that all parties are pleased to see a solution.
“The popularity of Mexican avocados is undeniable,” he said.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/19/business/mexico-avocado-ban-lifted.html US lifts temporary ban on avocados from Mexico