CDMX Restaurants Reopen for On-Site Open Air DiningBy Jan Hogewoning | Thu, 01/21/2021 - 16:34
After intense pressure from several restaurant owners and a number of associations, uniting under the banner #AbrimosoMorimos (We Open or Go Out of Business), the government of Mexico City has allowed restaurants to serve diners in open air spaces. Restaurants in the city and in other areas of the country were forced to shut for a second time in December in an effort to contain a significant rise in COVID-19 cases. In Mexico City, hospitals are currently saturated with severe cases and bed occupancy has almost reached its limits. Nonetheless, the city’s governor Claudia Sheinbaum appears to have given in to the desperate cries from restaurant owners and employees, who fear that many of their business will disappear without sufficient income.
On Monday, Mexico Business reported that 9,568 restaurants with an open-air space had opened up. While the inspection service that checks whether restaurants are following the sanitary guidelines has only inspected a few hundred restaurants so far, Sheinbaum claims that the vast majority of restaurants are meeting guidelines, such as a maximum four people per table and frequent disinfection of the spaces. Meanwhile, in Puebla and other parts of the country, restaurants are still not allowed to serve any clientele on site. With very limited financial support, the situation remains dire.
Interested in more? Here are the weeks major headlines in agribusiness & food!
- Mexican avocado exports to the US are expected to reach new heights this year, with their peak moment around the Super Bowl, when avocado is in high demand for guacamole dips. Avocado from Michoacan is another example of an agricultural export that has continued to see volume rise despite the ongoing pandemic, demonstrating the resilience of the agricultural sector.
- This week, FAO designated the Integral Unit of Services, Diagnosis and Verification (UISDC) of the National Service of Agri-Food Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) as a reference for the International Organization for Antimicrobial Resistance (ADR). The objective of the designation, the Ministry of Agriculture (SADER) states, is to support the implementation of FAO’s Plan of Action to raise awareness about the importance of the proper use of antimicrobials in animal health.
- According to SADER, 21 certification processes for different seed varieties were developed in the last 10 months. These varieties are: Huitel-143 bean; M63, M64, M65 corn; Micaela and Ameyali potato; INI-181 tomato; 2020 Forcart safflower; Breeze peach, among others. The ministry also reports that the National Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Livestock Research (INIFAP) has been working on the creation of more than 1,200 new varieties of approximately 50 different crops, including the Pinto Saltillo bean, considered attractive for the market.
- With the inauguration of President Biden, the new US administration is expected to return to an ambitious agenda to combat climate change. Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture during the Obama administration, will again take the helm of this body. Some have criticized this decision because of Vilsack’s professional ties to the livestock sector and commodity agriculture. On the other hand, during Vilsack’s previous tenure, he developed a network of 'climate hubs', which provide information to farmers about climate change measures they can take. He also launched an initiative to grow nationwide carbon storage and boosted USDA funding for climate change research.
- El Heraldo de Mexico writes that despite outbreaks of COVID-19 in different rural municipalities around the country, workers continue to work the land. Many communities are facing drought with a lack of rainfall. Another pandemic-related issue is the lack of up-front payment by buyers of produce. In Tamaulipas state alone, this has left more than 30 percent of the 60,000 farmers with a lack of financial resources to meet their planting objectives. This is further complicated by the absence of a guaranteed price for sorghum product.
- This week, the Ministry of Economy, IMSS and the Coordinating Business Council (CCE) met to define what could be a 'safe business model' to return to economic normality. Some of the priorities discussed were the need to have very complete care protocols, and that employers have to be actively involved in organizing the vaccination of their employees and families. The discussion was focused on the trade and service sector, which represents 85 percent of the business units registered in the country.
- The government of Durango has estimated the damage due to droughts in four municipalities at MX$60 million (US$3.04 million). The state has also declared a natural disaster emergency in these four entities. Critics are pointing out that the droughts are not limited to these areas and have also affected other municipalities. El Siglo de Torreon writes that it is now up to the federal government to provide funds to cover the damage.