Mexico Pressured to Delay New Label StandardBy Jan Hogewoning | Thu, 08/13/2020 - 18:09
Several major players in the food industry are pressuring their own governments to push Mexico to delay the new food labels for processed foods and drinks. Meanwhile, a spat over herbicides is escalating as different political and private sector players spar over the use of glyphosate.
Interested in knowing more? Here’s the Week in Agribusiness!
New alliances and initiatives
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) and the National Promotion for a Solidarity-Based Economy (PRONAES) are starting an alliance to identify projects that can generate more self-sufficiency and food security in rural areas.
All large pork producer associations are uniting under one new umbrella organization: the Organization of Mexican Pork Producers (OPORMEX). The aim is to create a united front in achieving food security and increasing the efficiency and sustainability of the sector.
SADER has reported that the agricultural trade surplus during the first half of the year stood at 19 percent, which amounts to US$7.5 billion.
According to Cerveceros de Mexico, Mexican beer production is back at 80 percent. This comes two months after the production chain was reactivated after being shut down for three months due to COVID-19 contingency measures.
According to WTO documents, the US, the EU, Canada and Switzerland are pressuring Mexico to delay the mandatory food labels on processed foods and drinks, Reuters reports. The new standard is scheduled to go into effect in October.
Crop Management and Pest Control
The National Agriculture Council (CNA) is calling on the government, specifically the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, to allow the import of glyphosate herbicide. SEMARNAT has denied several deliveries of the product from the US, citing the potential presence of carcinogens in the product. Meanwhile, a political spat is ongoing after the head of SEMARNAT was caught criticizing his SADER counterpart for supporting the herbicide, in a leaked audio.
Different organizations in the crop protection industry, including UMFFAAC and PROCCYT, are calling on SEMARNAT to cease what they call a ‘biased campaign’ against herbicides. Citing the risk of food shortages, price increases and mass hunger, they are pleading for SEMARNAT to resume dialogue about the topic.
Technicians from the national phytosanitary agency SENASICA have reportedly detected more than 790,000 harmful insects in their Epidemiological Surveillance Program. Their surveillance systems have allowed the prevention of further spread of damaging pests in the food production system.
USMCA and Labor Conditions
Despite guidelines set by USMCA, CNA is seeking to make agricultural labor legal for 16 year olds.