Mexican avocado industry celebrates first shipment from Jalisco to U.S.
The Mexican avocado industry celebrated the first-ever delivery of fresh avocados across the border from the Mexican state of Jalisco into the United States. The agreement was first announced in 2021 by Mexican authorities with the United States to allow avocado imports from the additional Mexican state.
Jalisco joins the state of Michoacán, delivering fresh, quality avocados to meet the growing demand in the U.S. Michoacán exports billions of pounds of avocados to the United States each year. The Michoacán region meets the ideal conditions for producing and harvesting the freshest avocados year-round, with its rich volcanic soil, natural irrigation, and unique topography. Now, combined with Jalisco's summer crop, the opportunity for high-quality Mexican avocados to reach U.S. consumers' table will be even stronger.
"Our expansion into the Jalisco region strengthens our grower base and allows us to increase our import numbers, enhancing our mission of providing consumers with the freshest avocados year-round," said Ron Campbell, executive director at the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association.
In fact, the demand for avocados has grown dramatically over the last 20 years. In the past seven years alone, U.S. consumption of Avocados From Mexico has doubled — now at more than eight pounds per capita per year. In 2021, the United States imported $3 billion avocados, with $2.8 billion coming from Mexico (92 percent) – that's 1.2 million metric tons of avocados coming from Mexico just last year. And, since 1997 when Mexico first began exporting, production has grown, with the supply of Mexican avocados in the U.S. reaching more than 2 billion pounds.
"This first export of avocados from Jalisco only improves the already positive economic benefits of avocado imports from Mexico," said Campbell. As Mexican avocado imports move through the food supply chain, they contribute $6.5 billion in economic output and $4 billion in GDP in the U.S. economy. "In fact, because Avocados From Mexico has tapped into U.S. culinary trends of consumers, it's boosted avocado consumption by over 600 percent, an impressive 10 percent average annual growth rate and we expect it only to increase."
The Association of Avocado Exporting Producers and Packers of Mexico, a cooperative partner for exporting avocados into the United States, now works closely with Jalisco to deliver even more avocados to the U.S. This new agreement allows the import of fresh Hass avocados from Mexico to expand and operates under the Cooperative Service Agreement between the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and APEAM. The new agreement integrates 695 orchards, 9,441 hectares, 11 packinghouses and 10 municipalities in Jalisco.
Avocados imported from Jalisco adhere to the same standards to provide consumers in the U.S. with the high-quality avocados they know and expect from Mexico. In fact, the industry goes above and beyond standards to ensure every avocado meets consumer expectations of flavor and consistency.
And, with a strong commitment to sustainable practices, the avocado industry, its members, and its success depend on the conservation of the natural environment, soil, forests, and water, as well as the economic security of its fundamental communities in Mexico.
APEAM's close partnership with the USDA ensures that all avocado growers and packers in Mexico comply with the most stringent phytosanitary rules and regulations. Alongside the USDA, APEAM ensures that all growers and packers adhere to good agricultural practices and the highest quality and food-safety standards. Through every step of the supply chain, the industry enacts rigorous guidelines, and these standards start at the orchards.
To confirm that phytosanitary requirements are being executed throughout the orchards and packing houses, nearly 90 USDA regulatory officers and 12 administrative staff systematically conduct a series of inspections. All export-certified orchards and packinghouses require these inspections before they can be harvested and exported to the U.S. The USDA's partnership with APEAM is the backbone of the avocado industry in Mexico — its attention to phytosanitary standards, food safety and the industry's commitment to traceability and quality is a strong indication of the close cooperation between the two nations and ensures an abundant supply of avocados all year long.