On the Horizon
With NAFTA renegotiations still underway, the future of trade between the United States, Mexico, and Canada is somewhat uncertain. Even so, many Mexican produce importers and growers believe it will all work out.
Losolla seems confident about what lies ahead, pointing to Mexico’s many advantages. “Logistically, we’re very well positioned to the United States,” he says. “We grow a lot of protected agriculture, which yields really high quality. We play by the highest standards in food safety and trade practices, and we compete at the highest level with anybody in the world.
“All these things have been the backbone of growth in Mexican imports in recent years, and I think the trend will continue,” Losolla contends. “We’ll continue to see growth in many sectors,” he says, noting higher demand in berry categories, as well as avocados—which still haven’t maxed out—and he believes there’s still plenty of room for tropical fruit like pineapple and papaya.
On the other hand, some importers worry the United States will become far too dependent on Mexican imports. “Between U.S. regulation and labor, I’m fearful it will be our main source of produce,” comments Fawcett.
“We import seasonally, but we’re also domestic growers too,” he adds. “Looking at food security, who is going to supply this country with food? Are we going to be totally dependent upon other folks to feed us, or are we going to take care of ourselves?”
While industry professionals on both sides of the border have differing perspectives and predictions about the future of trade between the three NAFTA partners, one thing is certain: Mexico has proven itself as a produce powerhouse well-positioned to feed the world with fresh fruit and vegetables.
López predicts Mexico’s reputation for high-quality fresh fruit and vegetable imports will only be strengthened in the coming years, and “demand for its produce will continue to rise.”
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