With the suspension of Mexican avocado exports from Michoacan, more than 300,000 jobs in the entity are at risk, since 1.8 million tons were produced by the state, worth 40 billion pesos; More than 1.2 million tons are destined for export to the United States, nearly 70 percent.
The impacts will directly affect more than 30,387 producers, mostly small and medium-sized businesses, who harvest 46,516 licensed orchards in 43 municipalities.
The United States announced on February 12 that it had stopped importing Mexican fruit because one of its inspectors had been a victim of insecurity.
In light of this, the coordinator of the Laboratory for Analysis of Trade, Economics and Business (LACEN) at UNAM, Ignacio Martinez, stressed that the government of Mexico must guarantee the safety of Mexicans, and of course the United States inspectors, because he emphasized that although this problem will not be solved within the framework of the trade agreement Between Mexico and the United States and Canada (T-MEC), however, it reflects an internal and domestic problem.
“It has been shown how insecurity harms the interests of the United States and, of course, also harms the trade relationship with Mexico, which today more than ever will be under the scrutiny of the American authorities,” he said in an interview. Reason.
He was confident that the situation would be resolved within days; However, he regretted that it is the neighboring country in the north that indicates the problem of internal insecurity that prevails in the country.
According to La Voz de Michoacán, Ziracuaretiro’s avocado export cycle was temporarily canceled in 2019, after retaining a US engineer responsible for certifying the orchards.
In September of that year, a unit theft and rapid retention occurred, both from a USDA certified engineer, as well as from an engineer from the local Plant Health Board in Ziracuaretiro.
At the time, the US government warned that the cancellation of shipments to its country could be final and could be expanded to other municipalities if the insecurity in Michoacán was not resolved.
Reason for comment. There are two versions that could have caused the suspension of avocado exports: one due to alleged phone threats by organized crime against a USDA inspector; There is even talk of his alleged deprivation of liberty in Uruapan Ario Ciudad Hidalgo.
In Michoacan, more than 80 USDA inspectors will be deployed to verify the presence of more than fifty packers.
The second version is that the suspension came after US inspectors discovered avocados that did not come from Michoacan and an attempt to export them to the United States.
In this regard, the Mexican Avocado Producers and Exporters Association (Apeam) said in a statement that it is actively participating in coordination with the authorities of the two countries to solve the problem in the process of strengthening internal practices and processes that ensure the traceability of the fruit.
The United States Embassy in Mexico also stated that facilitating the export of Mexican avocados to the United States and ensuring the safety of its agricultural inspection teams “go hand in hand” and emphasized that it is working with the Mexican government to ensure this. The security conditions that allow our staff in Michoacan to resume operations.”
This medium requested information from the Department of Economy (SE) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader) regarding the development of negotiations with the United States; However, both dependencies indicated that, for the time being, there would be no other position and they would remain alert to the development of the conflict and, if necessary, would issue a position, perhaps jointly.
According to the Cambio de Michoacán newspaper, Governor Alfredo Ramirez Pedulla has expressed support for producers and exporters of the fruit and expressed confidence that shipments of avocados from Michoacán “will soon resume and in this way this important engine of the state’s economy will be revitalized.”