According to a recent report from the Center for North American Studies at Texas A&M University, imports of fresh produce from Mexico will continue to increase in the coming decade.
The Center projects that produce imports will be valued at $53 billion by 2030, representing a 29.2% increase compared to 2022.
Fresh produce imports to the US market have increased significantly in the last two decades, driven largely by growing demand from US consumers, trade agreements, and favorable exchange rates.
Increased international trade will substantially impact both countries and deliver considerable economic benefits.
1. Employment growth
In addition to an increase in Mexican agriculture jobs, projected growth in the produce trade will create approximately 320,000 new jobs in the United States.
2. Collateral growth of other industries
Non-agriculture industries will benefit, including the freight transportation industry, which is essential for delivering products across borders. Increased trade is expected to generate $34.2 billion of economic activity and 204,519 new jobs in Texas alone
3. Growth of local economies
The study indicates that 56.4% of all produce imports will pass through land ports in Texas by 2030. Mexican fresh produce imports generated 169,000 jobs and created an economic impact of $25.5 billion for the state in 2022.
Mexican produce imports will also increase in California, Arizona, and New Mexico, as projections indicate that 89% of all US imports will originate from Mexico by the end of the decade.
US consumers are increasingly demanding premium products, such as organic & greenhouse-produced fruits and vegetables. Growers are responding to this trend by increasing the production and export of the most in-demand produce, including peppers, cucumbers, zucchinis and green beans.
The import of fresh Mexican produce has positively impacted US consumers’ health, as it has provided greater access to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, contributing to a healthier lifestyle.
The growing demand for fresh products in the US market is driving Mexican growers and exporters to invest in more advanced and sustainable production technologies, which in turn allows them to improve the quality of their products and increase their competitiveness.
As trade grows, there are significant challenges and risks to consider, such as food safety, compliance with the norms and regulations of both countries and competition with local growers in the United States.
Establishing effective policies and regulations is necessary to address these issues and to ensure food safety and product quality for imported goods. Clear and consistent standards for product labeling must also be codified so that consumers can make informed purchasing decisions.
Equitable trade agreements benefit both countries and ensure that Mexican growers and exporters comply with local producers’ norms and regulations to avoid unfair trading practices.
Sources: USDA-ERS, Agrilife Today, Produce Blue Book, The Packer
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