Mexico prepares farmers to meet new US export regulations

Mexico City, April 29 (IANS) Mexico is preparing its farmers to meet the safety standards set in new US imports regulations, the country’s Agriculture Ministry has said.

“If the exporter fulfills the requirements set by the U.S., there will be no problem,” said Enrique Sanchez, Director of the National Service for Agro-Food Health, Safety and Quality (Senasica), at a news conference on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The law came in to force in 2011 in the US but the regulations that impact Mexican products begin taking effect in October 2017.

Sanchez added that producers of avocado and tomato, two of the most exported products to the United States, will not have to make any practically changes because they already work under high safety standards.

The Commissioner for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Michael Taylor said the federal agency will work closely with Mexico to ensure standards are met.

“The aim of the law is to ensure that Mexico’s growers, as well as from any part of the world, produce under the most modern standards,” said Taylor.

As part of the strategy, Senasica and the FDA held a forum on Thursday in Mexico City to promote awareness of the new US regulations.

Mexico exports agro-food to over 150 countries, but the US receives around 78 percent of the products, according to official sources.

In 2015, Mexican agro-food exports totalled $26 billion, a record amount which authorities hope to further increase in the coming years.

–IANS

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