Report: Mexico Won’t Import U.S. Fresh Potatoes

Published online: Jan 24, 2017
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The National Confederation of Potato Producers of Mexico (CONPAPA) hasn’t allowed the market opening sought by potato producers in the U.S. because they haven’t met some of the plant health requirements stipulated by Mexico’s law regarding potato imports. According to federal authorities in Mexico, 43 diseases of quarantine importance have been detected in the U.S.

In that sense, Gerardo Garcia Menaut, president of CONPAPA, said there were no commercial reasons to ban the entry of potato imports from the U.S., but that they hadn’t allowed them as a preventative measure to safeguard the integrity of Mexican crops and Mexican producers.

“The opening sought to import potatoes was not issued because American producers did not comply with the plant health requirements established to import potatoes,” Garcia Menaut said. He also warned of the risk that ignoring these preventative measures, established by law, posed, even though the entry of this product is permitted along a 26-kilometer-wide stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border.

CONPAPA says it conducted an analysis to determine the risk that importing potatoes to Mexico, without complying with the country’s plant health requirements, would have and detected 43 quarantine diseases that Mexico doesn’t have.

These products can be marketed in the border areas of Mexico as these areas don’t have crops that could be affected by these imports.

“We allow the entry of commercial potatoes to the border area because there are no potato crops there,” Garcia Menaut said. “The potato that comes with pests or diseases stays there and does not spread to other crops.”

Garcia Menaut also clarified that they were only denying the entry of fresh potatoes, processed potatoes, or semi-processed potatoes, which means the country allows imports of fried potatoes, potato chips, and frozen potatoes. More than 350,000 tons of processed U.S. potatoes enter Mexico every year under no restrictions.

“All the semi-processed product that does not involve a phytosanitary risk to Mexico can enter freely and be marketed,” said Garcia Menaut, who also said that Mexican potato production should be good this year and that marketing largely depended on each producer.

 

Source: Fresh Plaza