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Mexico to prohibit subcontracting of avocado, berry pickers

In order to comply with trade agreements with the U.S. and Canada, Mexico will prohibit subcontracting of day laborers in the avocado and berry industries, Reuters reported.

Luisa Maria Alcalde, Labor Minister, said that her ministry would publish a guideline preventing the industries from using subcontract labor for certain activities, specifically prohibiting subcontracting for pickers of avocados and berries, commodities of which billions of dollars’ worth are exported to the U.S. annually.

Alfredo Ramirez, Governor of Michoacan, the top avocado producing state in Mexico, stated that ensuring formal employment was necessary for companies to comply with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

Mexican avocado farming has recently suffered from gang violence, and the U.S. suspended avocado imports earlier this year after a U.S. regulator was threatened.

Alcalde said the labor ministry would work with companies to begin a process to ensure a level playing field, eliminate unfair competition, and promote respect for individual and collective rights.

Marco Campos is Media Coordinator, Latin America for Blue Book Services