Mexican berry sector leads agri-food exports
In 2022, berries replaced beer as Mexico's top agri-food export product. During the first two months of 2023, the sector confirmed its profitability with a revenue value of $777 million, according to the Bank of Mexico.
This is no easy task, as berries surpassed other popular crops, such as avocados, and highly demanded products such as beer and tequila.
Berries are produced commercially in 22 of the country’s 32 states, and exported to 38 nations across the globe.
Mexico produces raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, with the latter leading the export figures.
The U.S. is the biggest importer of Mexican berries, followed by the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe.
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In the last decade, strawberry, blueberry and raspberry production has tripled from 257,000 metric tons (MT) in 2011 to 754,000MT in 2020.
The total value of Mexican berry exports has increased fivefold during that time.
Víctor Manuel Villalobos, secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Government of Mexico, says that, in 2022, Mexico exported 560,000 tons of strawberries, and that the sector provides over 450,000 jobs.
Around 40% of these jobs belong to women in the industry.
Main producing states are Michoacán, where 58% of all berry production takes place, followed by Jalisco and Baja California with a 17% and 12% participation, respectively.