TEXAS, USA — Avocado imports from Mexico to the United States resumed Friday after almost a week of being shut down.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Friday that its avocado inspection program in Michoacan, Mexico has restarted.
The surprise suspension was confirmed late last Saturday on the eve of the Super Bowl, the biggest sales opportunity of the year for Mexican avocado growers.
The U.S. government suspended the imports after a U.S. plant safety inspector in Mexico received a threatening message, Mexico’s Agriculture Department said in a statement.
“U.S. health authorities ... made the decision after one of their officials, who was carrying out inspections in Uruapan, Michoacan, received a threatening message on his official cellphone,” the department wrote.
A statement from the USDA said they are appreciative of the positive, collaborative relationship between the United States and Mexico that made resolution of this issue possible in a timely manner.
Read the statement in full below.
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today that its avocado inspection program in Michoacan, Mexico has restarted and avocado exports to the United States have resumed.
APHIS, working closely with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico’s Regional Security Officer, Mexico’s national plant protection organization (SENASICA), and the Association of Avocado Producers and Packers Exporters of Mexico (APEAM) have enacted additional measures that enhance safety for APHIS’ inspectors working in the field, following a threat made to an employee on February 11.
The safety of USDA employees simply doing their jobs is of paramount importance. USDA is appreciative of the positive, collaborative relationship between the United States and Mexico that made resolution of this issue possible in a timely manner.
In 2021, the United States imported $3.0 billion avocados globally, with $2.8 billion coming from Mexico (92%). In terms of volume, the United States imported 1.2 million metric tons of avocados, with 1.1 million coming from Mexico (89%). For the last full calendar year (2020) of available data, Mexico reported exports of avocados of $3.2 billion of which 79% went to the United States. In 2020 and 2021, approximately 80% of the avocados exported from Michoacán went to U.S. markets. The peak growing season for avocado in Mexico is January through March while the U.S production season for avocado fruit runs from April to September.
Mexico and the United States will continue working together to fortify the strong bilateral supply chains that promote economic growth and prosperity in both countries."
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