AN ongoing battle for the right to import US potatoes into Mexico continues and there are signs that Mexican growers are shifting tactics in a bid to deflect imports, it has been claimed.
Chief Executive Officer of The National Potato Council, Kam Quarles, told the Idaho Grower Shippers Association at the organisation's 93rd annual convention that US potato interests received an emphatic ruling by the Mexican Supreme Court in April.
Mexico’s highest court voted 5-0 to dispense with Mexican potato industry objections to expanded US fresh potato access in Mexico. Currently, US fresh potatoes can only be distributed with 26km of the border.
Kam said the National Potato Council and other organisations are working through the remaining legal process, in addition to working to reinstate US potato access through the regulatory process. However, Mexican potato growers funded increased government inspections of US potatoes within a week of the supreme court ruling, he said. The increased industry-funded inspections, which are unprecedented in agricultural trade, could constrain the US industry’s ability to access the Mexican market.
“We are going to need to press very hard on that,” he said at the meeting.