Guatemala Produce Trade Association said supply chain has been severely impacted
Political unrest in Guatemala is causing logistical delays to produce shipments bound for the US. The protests come in response to alleged interference in the election victory of anticorruption candidate Bernardo Arevalo.
“For the last week, Guatemalan exports have been persistently obstructed due to the protests that are impacting several aspects of the supply chain of fruits and vegetables, the Guatemala Produce Trade Association (GPTA) said in a statement issued on Thursday.
“Local news in Guatemala has stated that the political protests and demonstrations have intensified and resulted in the closing of several roads across the country and causing road blockades that have triggered fuel shortages in some regions and making logistics/traffic very difficult on major highways.
“Unfortunately, the chaos has forced many maritime and trucking companies in Guatemala to reconsider and restructure operational strategies until they can secure measures that can be implemented to protect the Guatemalan people and the lives of those operating transits and logistics.”
In 2022, the US imported over 6bn lbs of fruit and over 305m lbs of vegetables from Guatemala, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service statistics.
Despite the disruption, the GPTA said most of its members will attend the Global Produce and Floral Show in Anaheim, California, 19-21 October to display and discuss their products and services from Guatemala.
Priscilla Lleras, the GPTA’s executive director, commented: “As GPTA, we are severely impacted both emotionally and professionally due to the political issues that are transpiring in Guatemala. As news becomes available – we will make every effort to keep industry and our customers informed. Until this situation subsides, we have our prayers and hearts going out to those on the front lines in Guatemala”.