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MEXICAN AVOCADO INDUSTRY REVS UP FOR
"ENDLESS SEASON" IN U.S. MARKETS
Recipes and photos courtesy of Avocados From Mexico
The Mexican Hass avocado industry is celebrating the successful results of a long campaign to gain year round access to 47 states, up from the previously approved 31 states.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture rule that came into effect January 31, 2005, lifts most geographical and all seasonal restrictions on fresh Hass avocados from approved orchards and packinghouses in the state of Michoacan in Mexico. For the first two years, avocados from Mexico can be distributed everywhere except California, Florida and Hawaii; following that interim period, they will be available nationally. Before the landmark regulation, the prized Mexican fruit could be sold in just 31 states plus the District of Columbia, and only from mid-October to mid-April.
Michoacan, Mexico has the perfect climate and growing conditions for Hass avocados that make it possible for avocados to be harvested and exported all year long. "We’re excited about the ‘endless season,’ which allows us to supply the U.S. market with our superb avocados," says Benjamin Grayeb, president of the Avocado Producer and Exporting Packers Association of Michoacan (APEAM), the organization responsible for overseeing that only safe, high-quality avocados from Mexico are exported to the U.S.
As the world’s leading avocado producer, with more than a million metric tons of fruit harvested each year, Mexico is prepared to fulfill the needs of the expanded market. "There’s no reason we can’t double the 42,600 metric tons we exported to the U.S. during the 2003-2004 season," says Salvador Escobedo, APEAM’s market representative. "We have plenty of excellent quality fruit to export, which takes less than four days to reach New York from the time it’s cut in Michoacan. In addition, our inspection, processing, shipping and marketing arrangements are all in place."
Phytosanitary expert Ron Campbell, APEAM’s Washington representative, anticipates that the distribution channels will encounter less paperwork under the new rule, which eliminates the requirement for compliance agreements promising to limit distribution within the approved states. The Michocan industry will have to cope, however, with what its representatives are calling "double inspections"--an increase in the already stringent inspection standards their product must pass before entering the U.S. Fruit destined for the U.S. is specially selected and processed separately, and the industry is proud of its seven years of shipping avocados free of fruit flies or any other pest, as verified by cuttings of more than 17 million avocados by U.S.D.A.
These well-priced avocados from Mexico, prized for their rich flavor and creamy texture are likely to receive a warm reception, if Chef Barbara Sibley’s reaction is typical. "I’m going to love having access year round to fresh premium avocados from Mexico, picked at just the right moment and delivered to me in New York City," says Sibley, the Mexican-born owner of La Palapa restaurant.
FREE RECIPE LEAFLET
Make It Mexican!
Easy ways to enjoy luscious Mexican avocados
Hass avocados from Mexico are known as "the world’s finest" - and, once you experience their luscious flavor and creamy texture, you’ll know how they earned that reputation. Avocado-Mango Salsa Salad and Pasta Mexican Style are just two of the easy, delicious recipes featuring these premium avocados in a leaflet called "Make It Mexican: Easy Ways to Enjoy Luscious Mexican Avocados." This colorful six-panel leaflet from APEAM (The Avocado Producer and Exporting Packers Association of Michoacan) features five recipes for Mexican avocados, plus information on selecting, ripening and using avocados and nutrition information on this healthful fruit. To order this leaflet free of charge, either fax your request to: (212) 254-2452 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send your request to:
Mexican Avocado Leaflet
c/o Lewis & Neale Inc.
35 East 21 st Street 10 th Floor
New York, NY 10010
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