TeleSur – Former Mexican President Vicente Fox and his family are being investigated in connection with the exploitation of 200 Tarahumaras, including children, among other agricultural workers.
Sentdio Comun – The Federal Competition Commission (Cofece) accepted the position of the Association of Avocado Producers and Packers, or APEAM, condoning the monopolistic practice known as tied selling, which prevents more producers from exporting avocados to the US.
KFSM – At least 40 countries, including Mexico and China, have banned Arkansas turkeys after bird flu was found in a commercial flock in Boone County.
Sentido Comun – The Agriculture Secretariat has set the dates and places along the coasts and lagoons that will be off limits during the upcoming shrimp fishing season.
Knight Ridder – Mexico, already the world’s third-largest exporter of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries, is looking for ways to get U.S. consumers to throw more fresh blueberries into the pancake batter and heap more raspberries onto their fruit salads.
Produce News – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed a new rule that would amend regulations “to allow the importation of fresh Hass avocado fruit into the continental United States, Hawaii and Puerto Rico from all of Mexico.
Fronteras – Demand for avocados in the United States has quadrupled in the last 20 years. America’s growing love for the fruit may be harming the fragile habitat of the monarch butterfly, whose winter home is in the forests of central Mexico, not far from where the majority of the avocados Americans consume are grown.
By Richard Marosi / Los Angeles Times
The Mexican government and Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, have announced steps to improve the lives of the nation’s farmworkers, two months after a Los Angeles Times investigation detailed labor abuses at Mexican agribusinesses that supply major U.S. supermarket chains and restaurants.
Mexico’s secretary of agriculture, Enrique Martinez y Martinez, announced the creation Thursday of a “historic” alliance of produce industry groups that will focus on enforcing wage laws and improving housing, schools and healthcare for the more than 1 million laborers at export farms.
The group represents growers and distributors that handle 90 percent of Mexico’s produce exports to the United States, which have tripled over the last decade and now exceed $7.5 billion a year.
Separately, Wal-Mart said it is taking action to ensure that workers are treated with “respect and dignity,” reminding its in-house buyers that they should buy produce only from farms that meet the company’s standards for decent treatment of workers.
El Siglo de Durango – As part of its “Todos Sembramos Café” program, Starbucks donated about 180,000 coffee plants to 60 producers in the state of Chiapas, who have had low productivity in their crops.
Milenio – Despite government budget cuts, the National Commission of Arid Zones will not reduce support to the state of Nuevo León to support the growth of the agricultural sector.
Sentido Comun – The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) announced the start of the export of strawberries to China.
WSJ – The U.S. and Mexico are increasingly competing for a dwindling supply of farm labor, according to a new analysis, a development that likely will have long-term implications for the U.S. agricultural sector.
Reuters – Pork exports from the United States to Mexico, its biggest market, are likely to grow more slowly in 2015 after three years of record increases, as a deadly pig virus abates in both countries.
Sentido Comun – The Secretariat of Agriculture (SAGARPA) declared the entire state of Chihuahua free of the pink cotton bollworm, a major crop pest in the country.
Reuters – Louis Dreyfus Commodities’ Imperial Sugar Co and AmCane Sugar have challenged the U.S.-Mexico trade deal, warning that the pact potentially harms domestic sugar refiners and prolongs a long-running dispute between the two countries.
El Dario de Yucatan – Thirty hectares in Teotihuacan have been reforested with maguey plants in a $254,000 effort to train and mentor 60 producers from six municipalities to practice sustainable agriculture.