Avocado Mexican Sector Bounces Back from a Tough Season
Mexico’s smaller crop in the past season may have seen competitors like Peru step up and increase its market share, but the future remains bright for the United States’ neighbor to the south.
by STEVEN MAXWELL
A vocados are a hugely important motor for the Mexican economy, and it’s easy to see why. In the neighboring United States market, the Latin American country supplies more than four in every five avocados sold. It’s estimated that Americans consume on average almost nine pounds of the fruit per person every year — a figure that is approximately quadruple what it was at the turn of the millennium. And USDA data shows that the value of avocados imported from Mexico in 2021 reached $2.78 billion, up 25% from the year before and up 57% from 2016. The industry faced a volatile 2021-22 season, when a shortage of supply saw some U.S. customers switching sources in favor of Peru. But the sector is rebounding this season, and there are high hopes for its future in the U.S. market.
has been the recent performance of Frutícola Velo, a third-generation avocado marketer from Michoacán, which is by far the country’s leading production state and for a long time had been the only region with access to the U.S. market until mid-2022, when Jalisco — the second largest producer — received USDA authorization to begin exports. Fruticola Velo began life as one of Mexico’s pioneering Hass growers in the municipality of Uruapan, before being officially constituted in 1995 by Ricardo Vega López, who now runs the company assisted by his son, sales manager Ricardo Vega Pérez. Now present in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia, Velo, which markets its fruit under the brands ‘Flavocado’, ‘Velo Avocados’ and ‘Avo Value’, the latter for class 2 fruit, has spent much of the past two years focusing on expanding its facilities in the hopes of doubling capacity. The peak of the Covid-19 pandemic brought challeng - es across all produce categories, but Vega Pérez, who
Expansion on the ground A good indicator of the current health of the industry
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