Officials from Mexico’s agriculture ministry are due to travel to China with a group producers and exporters next week for a trade mission that will pave the way for negotiations to establish a protocol for the export of Mexican bananas to the Asian country.
Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing and Food, José Calzada, said this was a huge opportunity for Mexico to play a bigger role in the Chinese market. He noted that although Mexican agricultural exports to China are on course to rise by 25 per cent in 2015, the Central American country supplies just 1 per cent of the US$122bn of food that China imports every year.
Mexico is the twelfth largest banana producer in the world. Acreage continues to rise steadily in the states of Veracruz, Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco and the government is eager to find new markets as the quality of Mexico’s offer improves.
Adrián Prats, president of the National Council of Banana Producers, said exports to China could get underway by the first half of 2016.
“We want to increase our export volume every year and consolidate our position in overseas markets,” he said.
Calzada said that Mexico had made considerable progress in the quality and quantity of its agricultural production during 2015 and the government wanted to ensure that it had the right policies in place to enable “the success of our big export companies to create new opportunities for small and medium producers”.
Berries are one of the products with the highest potential, Calzada added, with exports to China reaching US$600,000 since the market opened in February and forecast to increase by 200 per cent in the coming year.
Another topic on Calzada’s agenda is the Guadalajara-Henan Sky Bridge project that has converted the Mexican city into a logistics hub for regional produce serving the Asian market.