Holy guacamole: US gives green light to Mexico avocado imports after short ban

The avocado ban is toast. US officials Anunciado on Friday that imports from Mexico had resumed, following a temporary ban that stemmed from a threat against an American agricultural inspector.

The US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Aphis) said avocado inspections in Michoacán, Mexico had restarted, allowing imports to follow.

US officials said the threat was made on 11 febrero. The Mexican agriculture department said an inspector received a menacing message on his phone.

Aphis said inspection officials were now “working closely” with a security officer at the US embassy, the Mexican national plant protection organization and the Association of Avocado Producers and Packers Exporters of México.

It added that it had “enacted additional measures that enhance safety for … inspectors working in the field”.

“The safety of USDA employees simply doing their jobs is of paramount importance,” the agency said. “USDA is appreciative of the positive, collaborative relationship between the United States and Mexico that made resolution of this issue possible in a timely manner.”

Michoacán is the only state in Mexico that has a permit to export avocados to the US. Mexican growers and packers say they are frequently targeted with violence and threats from organized crime.

En 2021, the US imported $3bn in avocados, with $2.8bn originating from Mexico. That equates to 1.2m metric tons of the buttery fruit, 1.1m tons from Mexico.

Mexico’s avocado exports total $3.2bn. Acerca de 80% of these exports go to the US.

“Mexico and the United States will continue working together to fortify the strong bilateral supply chains that promote economic growth and prosperity in both countries,” US officials said.

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