COVID-19 Working Group EstablishedBy Jan Hogewoning | Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:11
Representatives of the National Agricultural Council (CNA), the National Association of Self-service and Departmental Stores (ANTAD), Mexico’s Food Bank, the National Chamber of Cargo Transport (CANACAR), as well as representatives of various wholesale markets gathered last Friday at a meeting with Víctor Villalobos and his team from SADER. The minister reaffirmed that keeping supply chains up and running was a priority for the government.
During the meeting, a working group was formed between representatives of private sector parties and federal authorities, with the aim to strengthen health protocols in the food sector, including transport logistics and the supply of trade centers. The primary aim of these protocols is to protect the wellbeing of agroindustry workers.
Javiar Trujillo Arriaga, Head of the National Service for Health, Safety and Quality of Agro-food Products (SENASICA), assured that the inspection activities of the federal agency will continue, being an institution that serves national security. Its activities include the surveillance, inspection and certification of imports and exports. He also confirmed that SENASICA will now be coordinating closer with CNA to increase these efforts. The agency has already taken sanitary measures to protect health workers at the border, particularly regarding guidelines on how to handle personal contact with individuals. It is important to point out that the virus is not considered to be carried by foodstuffs crossing international borders.
CNA President, Bosco de la Vega, stressed that the opening of a dialogue with the federal authorities is a fundamental step in assuring that measures will be taken to protect the production and supply of food on a national and international level. SADER Deputy Minister Miguel García Winder, who was also present at the meeting, will be coordinating efforts with the Ministry of Economy to monitor the supply of foods and related goods, including the flow of goods across international borders. While measures have been agreed between Mexico and the US to stop all non-essential travel between the two countries, transport of agricultural goods will continue.
SADER has committed to providing the public with frequent updates and advice, through its website and social media, on which products should be consumed to support the economy. This channel of communication will help to counter speculation on social media platforms which has led to panic purchases of certain products in past weeks, including eggs.