Mexican govt gets behind U.S. papaya campaign -

Mexican govt gets behind U.S. papaya campaign

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Mexican govt gets behind U.S. papaya campaign

The Mexican government is backing a MXN10 million (US$708,975) campaign to push the health benefits, quality and safety of its papayas in the U.S., following a series of setbacks for the industry.

In July 2011 the sector was hit by a salmonella outbreak in 23 U.S. states thought to be caused by unsanitary water conditions in the treatment process.

Last month Caribe Produce LTD Co. from McAllen, Texas, recalled a small number of Papaya Maradol Caribena brand fruit because of possible salmonella contamination.

Mexican growers and The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development and Fishing (SAGARPA) are seeking to reposition the fruit with U.S. consumers.

A  promotional campaign with tastings in supermarkets throughout Texas, California and Illinois  is to run until April next year.

Papaya Product System chairman Francisco Mora, said Mexican producers were focusing their efforts on increasing health and safety and was optimistic about increased U.S. consumption following the tastings.

In 2011, Mexico produced 646,000 metric tons (MT) of papayas, in an industry that generates 68,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Mexico exports 40% of its annual production and SAGARPA estimates world trade in papayas is growing annually by 12%.

Related stories: Salmonella risk continues to plague Mexican papaya industry

Papaya industry struggling with poor weather conditions

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