Avocado harvests have finally resumed in the Mexican state of Michoacán following 16 days of grower strikes and road blockades.
In a meeting held on Tuesday between the growers and packers, with government representatives present, the two sides reached a deal to resume harvesting, packing and shipping of avocados to all markets.
The strikes had come about as a group of growers was unhappy with the prices they had been receiving from packers and had demanded that a minimum price be set. However, the packers said that this was not possible under international competition law.
In addition, growers were complaining about avocados being grown in other Mexican states without U.S. access and then being sent to Michoacán where they were repackaged and shipped north of the border.
Almost no exports have been made since the strikes began, according to local media.
The U.S. market has been heavily affected as Mexico is by far the main supplier at this time of year.
The Producers, Packers, and Exporters Association of Avocado in Mexico (APEAM) said that the sides had reached a deal through which this situation would not happen again.
“We have reached agreements that oblige us to redouble our communications and efforts to understand one another,” APEAM said in a statement.
Ramon Paz, a spokesperson for the association, told Fresh Fruit Portal that the parties had “agreed to increase the transparency of information so that everyone knows the reality of the market, the costs and the marketing margins.”
The APEAM statement said that the agreement has six points, which include measures to prevent fruit from elsewhere in the country being fraudulently exported to the U.S. from Michoacán.
Another point stated that minimum prices may not be established, but that each producer may negotiate the sale of their fruit with the packer of their choice.
In addition, the agreement included a commitment from the productive sector to support the permanent operation of state and federal phytosanitary controls.