According to Potatoes USA officials, an “important and very positive step” has been taken, after 15 years of trying, to gain access to the market in Mexico - U.S. potatoes may soon be crossing the border.
Mexican courts granted an injunction against fresh U.S. potato shipments after farmers in the country complained that phytosanitary measures and problems had not been met. Following this injunction new rules have been set after a pest risk assesment by the Mexican agriculture department SAGARPA was performed. Results from said assessment were released on January 13th and dictated the rules for potato shipments passing the 16 mile zone previously set.
“Can people export? We don’t know yet because the process by which that is to occur, based on the document, has not yet been clearly defined by the Mexicans,” said Potatoes USA Chief Marketing Officer John Toaspern. “They made these publications, but they haven’t sorted out the exact process.”
“It is very much in flux,” Toaspern said.
Opening all of Mexico to fresh U.S. spuds would be a boost for the U.S. potato industry and also a benefit to Mexican consumers, who could expect more supply and variety, Toaspern believes.