Berry Producers Seek to Diversify MarketsBy Jan Hogewoning | Thu, 07/09/2020 - 16:33
USMCA may be touted as stimulating free trade but many parties in the Mexican agricultural sector fear challenges regarding Mexican labor conditions and perceived dumping of Mexican produce in the US market. As a result, berry producers are now reportedly seeking to diversify to new markets in the Middle-East and Asia.
In other news, the government is working together with the meat sector to streamline Mexican beef and pork exports to China, a destination that is facilitating fast growth in exports, particularly for pork.
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Government Programs and Statements
According to the latest government report, released on July 3, 119,055 tons of fertilizer have so far been delivered to 113,788 female producers and 143,875 male producers in Guerrero. Land of these producers covers an estimated 396,853ha of ‘basic’ grains, primarily corn. During the report’s release, the government stated that it is promoting sustainable agricultural practices, such as diversification and crop rotation, reduction of agricultural burning, green manures, milpas interspersed with fruit trees and integrated pest management.
During the 35th anniversary of the National Institute for Forest, Agriculture and Fishery Research (INIFAP), the Minister of Agriculture, Victor Villalobos, confirmed the indispensable need for knowledge and technology in making agriculture more productive and sustainable.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER), along with technicians from the National Service of Health, Safety and Agri-Food Quality (SENASICA), has been actively working with the beef and pork industry to streamline the necessary procedures to export to China. This month, SENASICA will verify in situ 40 Federal Inspection Type (TIF) establishments and photographic and video evidence will be sent to China’s General Administration of Customs (AGA) to demonstrate compliance with Chinese regulations and standards.
Beef and pork processing in the US has recovered from COVID-19-forced shutdowns. The sector is even marking new records, demonstrating how growth in the US meat sector has continued despite significant challenges.
Berry producers, including those of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries, are seeking to diversify their exports to markets such as the Middle-East and Asia, Forbes reports. They fear challenges from US parties under the new USMCA treaty regarding labor issues and anti-dumping efforts. Currently, 97.4 percent of berry exports are directed to North America, with 90 percent destined to the US market.
At a press conference for Programa para el Bienestar, Villalobos reiterated that he sees opportunities in USMCA to create more inclusive rural development in Mexico.
The closing of department stores, cinemas, theaters and amusement parks has led to a collapse in sales of Mexican chocolate, El Financiero reports. Firms affected include Ferrero, Nestlé, Turin and Laposse. A compounding factor is the cancellation and delay of several national holidays.
The Development Bank for Latin America (CAF), through a credit line granted in favor of the Special Fund for Agricultural Financing (FEFA), is reportedly benefiting around 731 SMEs in the Mexican agricultural sector with credits amounting to MX$1.375 billion (US$60.6 million), Milenio reports.