Exports of Mexican avocados resume to the U.S.

The USDA restarted its inspection program Friday after halting avocado imports from Mexico a week ago.
avocados in the field
Photograph: Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday that avocado exports from Mexico would resume.

The USDA restarted its inspection program in Michoacan, Mexico, paving the way for avocados to once again flow out of the country and into the United States. Michoacan is the only region in Mexico approved for exporting to the U.S.

Imports of Mexican avocados were abruptly halted when a USDA inspector was threatened on Feb. 11, just days before the Super Bowl—an event synonymous with a spike in avocado consumption.

Over the last week, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Inspection Service has worked closely with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico’s Regional Security Office, the country’s national plant protection organization and the Association of Avocado Producers and Packers Exporters to enact additional safety measures for inspectors working in the field, according to a statement from the USDA.

The statement went on the say “the USDA is appreciative of the positive, collaborative relationship between the United States and Mexico that made resolution of this issue possible in a timely manner.”

Most restaurant operators with avocado-heavy menus had enough supply stockpiled for the short term, as Restaurant Business reported Thursday. But if the ban extended past a couple of weeks, the shortage might have started to impact menus. About 80% of avocados consumed in the U.S. come from Mexico.

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