Image credits: Michael Stout
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Weekly Roundups

Week of Tensions between Restaurants, Authorities

By Jan Hogewoning | Thu, 01/14/2021 - 17:43

This week’s biggest story is the ongoing protest of restaurant owners and employees against the temporary ban on onsite dining. Since December, multiple zones in the country have been subject to red-light restrictions that have had a serious impact on restaurant revenues.

On Monday, tensions between restaurants and authorities reached a new height when several chains announced that they were now open for indoor dining. Over the weekend, the governor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, warned that restaurants that do not obey the rules will be sanctioned. In Mexico City, restaurant employees hit the streets to exclaim their displeasure and desperation. The phrase #AbrimosoMorimos (Open or Die) became a trending tag on social media. On Monday afternoon, the Ministry of Economy announced that it would open a communication channel with the National Chamber for Restaurants and the Food Condiments (CANIRAC) to explore more aid instruments.

In other areas of the country, restaurants are also expressing their desperation. In Puebla, restaurant sector revenues have fallen to as little as 5 percent. There, restaurants also protested after the governor decided to extend the ban on onsite dining to Jan. 25. CANIRAC has warned that thousands of restaurants in the country could shut definitively.

 

Interested in more? Here are the weeks major headlines in agribusiness & food!

 

  • Representatives from the Ministry of Economy participated in a public hearing in the US this week organized by the US International Trade Commission. Mexico defended the rights of Mexican producers to export blueberries to the US and Canada, also citing WTO trade rules. Blueberry producers in the state of Georgia and Florida have repeatedly on their government to impose seasonal tariffs on Mexican blueberries. In 2019, Mexico exported blueberries worth MX$291 million (US$14.7 million) to its northern neighbor. The industry supports more than 60,000 workers and their families

 

  • Researchers from the National Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Livestock Research (INIFAP) announced this week that they have developed resistant and disease-tolerant potato varieties through plant breeding, La Jornada writes. They are said to produce 700 percent more yield with a 20 percent higher quality. The improvement techniques can yield between 50-70 tons per hectare and an industrial quality ranging between 94-98 percent. All the qualities are set to meet the standard of the potato chip industry.

 

  • On Wednesday, the Secretary General of the National Union of Agricultural Workers, Álvaro López Ríos, warned that this year we are dealing with three types of crises: economic, health and food insecurity. He accused the current government of dismantling important public policies and institutions for the agricultural sector, going as far as saying that MORENA and its allies ‘criminally’ cut the budget for the countryside.

 

  • Analysts from Grupo Consultor de Mercados Agricolas (GCMA) published a document this week in which they provided some recommendations on the government’s intention to prohibit glyphosate and transgenic corn in Mexico by January 2024. They advised that the government should implement programs that allow the gradual reduction of glyphosate use, while seeking involvement of the agrochemical sectors to find suitable substitutes for the herbicide. They also warned that banning the growing of transgenic corn in Mexico would make the country far more dependent on US corn.

 

  • According to a press statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Colegio de Postgraduados (COLPOS) is currently developing technology for the construction and operation of a Seed Conditioning Plant (PAS). This will serve as a model to support teaching, research, training, production and marketing of high-quality seeds, targeting small and medium-scale producers in the country. One of the capabilities of the plant will be to separate any contaminant from the seeds of basic grains, such as corn, wheat, oats, beans, chickpeas, peas, sunflower, lentils, barley and rice (for seeds), among others.

 

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Mexico Business News, SADER, La Jornada, Agronoticias, InfoRural
Photo by:   Michael Stout
Jan Hogewoning Jan Hogewoning Journalist and Industry Analyst