California Avocado Commission asks USDA to inspect all Mexican Hass avocados

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California Avocado Commission asks USDA to inspect all Mexican Hass avocados

The California Avocado Commission called for the continuation of the current U.S./Mexico Operational Work Plan (OWP) to avoid the introduction of invasive pests to the U.S.

The association requests that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and APHIS provide direct inspection of all harvesting and packing of Hass avocados exported to the United States to maintain the integrity of the critical avocado inspection program in Mexico.

The commission's Vice President of Industry Affairs and Operations, Ken Melban, stated in a press release that the organization calls on the USDA to uphold its mission and retain control of the avocado inspection in Mexico as previously agreed in the current OWP.

“As reports of corruption and violence in Mexico continue, including regions authorized for avocado exports to the U.S., it’s unimaginable that the U.S. government would consider abdicating inspection responsibilities to Mexico,” said Melban.

“U.S. farmers will not be protected under such a program, one intended and designed specifically to protect U.S. farmers’ economic interests.”

The California Avocado Commission represents California’s roughly 3,000 avocado growers who produce avocados on more than 50,000 acres in California, with an annual average farm-gate value of $367,000,000 (based on 2018-2023 crop values).

The release also states that while growers control what happens on their farms, other factors like weather and pricing remain outside of their control. The threat of an invasive pest being introduced is something that is under USDA’s control and must be prevented by utilizing the agreed upon and necessary levels of oversight found in the OWP.

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