US Stops Some Mexico Avocado Shipments Due to Inspector Incident


The United States has temporarily halted certain new avocado imports from Mexico following an event that allegedly endangered the well-being of US agricultural inspectors.

According to Bloomberg News, the US Department of Agriculture communicated to the Avocado Exporting Producers and Packers of Mexico (APEAM) on June 14 about stopping new shipments from Michoacan. The specific details of the incident were not disclosed in the notice, but reports from local media indicate that two inspectors were detained and assaulted during a demonstration regarding police remuneration. The USDA has advised APEAM that all activities related to avocado shipments are suspended for now.

A USDA representative stated via email that inspections of avocados and mangoes in Michoacan are on hold indefinitely due to security concerns for their staff. The suspension will remain until the security conditions are reassessed and adequate protections for the inspectors are established.

The USDA spokesperson clarified that Mexican exports are not entirely prohibited, but this measure will prevent the importation of any avocados or mangoes that have not undergone inspection. However, shipments already en route will not be impacted.

APEAM’s President Julio Sahagun Calderon announced on Monday that the organization is actively cooperating with both national and international government bodies to resume avocado exports from Michoacan to the US. He mentioned that the incident causing this interruption was beyond the sector’s control.

Sahagun also confirmed that avocado exports from Jalisco are unaffected and continue as usual.

This marks the second suspension by the US on Mexican avocados in over two years, temporarily disrupting the main source of this fruit for American consumers. Mexico is the leading exporter of avocados to the US.

Officials in Mexico have faced challenges in ensuring safety in Michoacan, which is the country’s largest avocado-producing state and suffers from widespread gang-related violence and extortion. A previous suspension in February 2022, initiated by a threat to an inspector, lasted one week while local authorities implemented a security strategy.

Source: Yahoo News