Avocado in Costa Rica: Something Smells Fishy

From Mexico, where the sunblotch disease has been present for 100 years, Costa Rica imports 80% of the avocados it consumes, but has now banned imports, citing contamination risk.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

An article on Elfinancierocr.com reports that the Mexican phytosanitary authorities questioned "... the basis of the decision made by the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) in Costa Rica to stop importing avocados from Mexico and seven more markets. " ... "Mexicans indicated that" ... in analyzing the arrangement to stop the importation of Mexican avocados there is a lack of "scientific evidence that justifies the decision of the SFE".

"... According to the SFE of Costa Rica, imports bought with them the risk of the disease spreading throughout Costa Rica with a subsequent price increase which would result in need for a disbursement to attack the plague."

It is curious, to say the least, that suddenly and without any forewarning plant protection measures have been implemented for a problem which has existed for such a long time, affecting the correlations in a market which is 80% dominated by imports from one country.

More on this topic

Costa Rica Could Start Importing Mexican Avocados Again

March 2017

Importers could assume the cost of a laboratory test to determine the absence of the sunblotch disease so that the SFE can authorize entry into the country.

The proposal was raised by the SFE in a meeting held with Mexican authorities in late February.

Aguacate in Costa Rica: Mexico Presents Proposal

September 2015

Establishing areas free of the sunblotch pest and certify them according to international standards is what Mexico has proposed in order to sell avocados to Costa Rica once again.

The proposal submitted by Mexico to the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica and the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) includes the establishment of certain areas of fruit cultivation which are certified to be free of the pest.

USA and South Africa Denounce Costa Rica Over Avocados

July 2015

Guatemala and Mexico have joined forces in their complaints to the WTO over restrictions on the importation of Hass Avocados.

The concerns of these two countries were presented at the monthly meeting of the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization, where Guatemala and Mexico also expressed concern about the trade impact of the measure imposed by Costa Rica.

Costa Rica: Avocados Could Come From Nicaragua and Panama

June 2015

After blocking the import of fruit from Mexico, the State Phytosanitary Service has announced that it is seeking permission to import from Peru, Nicaragua, Chile and Panama.

Although importers and marketers of the fruit in the country insist that the ban of imports of Mexican Hass avocados has no technical basis and is generating shortages in the local market, the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) is maintaining its position and has announced that it is processing the permission to bring in the fruit from other markets.

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