Mexico: Michoacan strike halts avocado exports, but APEAM hopeful for swift resolution
Since last week, growers unhappy with the prices they have been receiving have taken various actions including blocking roads with vehicles, which have disrupted harvest and export operations.
Ramon Paz, president of Avocados From Mexico and consultant for the Avocado Producers and Exporting Packers Association of Mexico (APEAM), told Fresh Fruit Portal that the price paid to growers has fallen significantly recently.
"Prices fell quite abruptly in the last week ... to almost half of what the producers were receiving a month or a month and a half ago," he said.
Thousands of tons avocados have not been exported to the U.S. because of the situation, according to local media.
On Sunday there was a meeting between the parties, which led to around 180 trucks being allowed to continue operations. A meeting with the country's Federal Competition Commission on Tuesday is expected to lead to an end to the strikes.
Paz said the meeting would be "to explain what the economic framework and legal regulations are, and why prices cannot be set by decree, nor can the prices of one group be imposed on an entire industry".
"We hope that it will help to re-establish the order of our crops," he said.
He added that although prices have risen in the U.S. market as a result of the strike, the will likely return to normal once exports resume.
Avocado producers in Michoacan have also been protesting against fruit grown in other parts of the country being exported illegally from the state to the U.S., according to Mexico News Daily. Michoacan is the only state included in the USDA’s certified export program.