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It’s been a long time coming, but as of late June Michoacán will not be the only Mexican state with the right to ship avocados to the United States.
The state’s northern neighbor Jalisco has received the most hype over the expected measure, but according to the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) growers from any part of the country will soon be able to ship provided they act under an approved systems approach.
The rule will be effective as of June 27, and will apply to Hass avocado imports into the continental United States, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
“In October 2010, Mexico’s national plant protection organization formally requested that USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) allow the importation of commercial Hass avocado shipments from all of Mexico,” APHIS said in an announcement today.
“After completing a comprehensive pest risk assessment and additional risk management documents, APHIS has determined that Hass avocados from all states in Mexico can be safely imported into the continental United States, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, utilizing the current systems approach with a few minor revisions.
“Exports from interested states can begin once an approved operational work plan is in place.”
APHIS will require that Mexican states undertake a number of safeguards in order to export their Hass avocados, including orchard certification, traceback labeling, pre-harvest orchard surveys, orchard sanitation, post-harvest safeguards, fruit cutting and inspection at the packinghouse, and port-of-arrival inspection.
Additionally, APHIS will require the fruit be imported in commercial consignments and accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating the systems approach has been followed.
In anticipation of the measure, just over a year ago one of North America’s leading avocado companies Calavo Growers announced it was building a 70,000 square foot facility in Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco.