Monday, June 17, 2024

Mexico avocado exports to US buoyed by Super Bowl

Mexican producers will send up to 130,000 tonnes of avocado to the United States for the 57th edition of the Super Bowl, the Michoacán-based Association of Avocado Exporters Producers and Packers of Mexico (APEAM) reported on Wednesday.

Michoacán, Mexico’s biggest avocado producer has already sent its first shipment with a total weight of 64,101 tonnes. Although avocados are scheduled to arrive in the U.S. in February, shipment starts four weeks ahead. 

The Super Bowl is the time of year when more avocados are consumed in the U.S. In 2022, Mexico supplied about 92% of U.S. avocado imports. On average, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Mexico supplies its northern neighbor with 1.02 million tonnes of avocados annually. 

Symbolically, from the APEAM facilities in Uruapan, Michoacán, governor Alfredo Ramírez gave what he called “the initial kick” to the first shipment of avocados promoted by Avocados From México (AFM), the main avocados export brand for North America. 

Ramírez literally kicked off the Super Bowl avocado season for his state by doing a mock football-styled “kickoff” on a miniature football field with a specially made football with the brand’s logo.

“This kickoff symbolizes that the industry always thinks about its final market, its consumer,” Ramírez said, referring to the U.S. market. “… There’s no other avocado in the world with this quality.”

The brand hopes to send more than 100,000 tonnes of avocados to U.S. consumers, enough to fill 30 million football helmets of guacamole, said AFM officials. 

Mexican producers export 1.68 million tonnes of avocados per year worldwide — to 34 countries around the world; only Michoacán and Jalisco, however, are currently allowed to export avocados to the U.S. 

Michoacán was the only state licensed to send avocados until July 2022, when the USDA certified Jalisco avocados for U.S. import. President of the Jalisco Avocado Export Association Javier Medina Villanueva said that it took them 10 years to get certified, as U.S. agricultural inspectors must verify that Mexican avocados don’t bring diseases or pests harmful to U.S. orchards.

At the time, APEAM head José Luis Gallardo said that he doesn’t see Jalisco, or any other Mexican states asking for U.S. export certification, as competition. 

“Today is a day of joy for everyone, knowing that Jalisco is here, but it is going to be happier when the State of Mexico comes, when Nayarit, Colima, Puebla, Morelos come,” Gallardo said of the other states.

Mexico’s agriculture department said it is working to get certified.

With reports from Forbes and APEAM

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