February 13, 2015
By Richard Marosi, 2/12/2015
The Mexican government and Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, have announced steps to improve the lives of the nation’s farmworkers, two months after a Los Angeles Times investigation detailed labor abuses at Mexican agribusinesses that supply major U.S. supermarket chains and restaurants.
Mexico’s secretary of agriculture, Enrique Martinez y Martinez, announced the creation Thursday of a “historic” alliance of produce industry groups that will focus on enforcing wage laws and improving housing, schools and healthcare for the more than 1 million laborers at export farms.
July 25, 2014
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the government of Mexico’s National Service for Agro-Alimentary Public Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) and Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) signed a statement of intent forming a partnership to promote the safety of fresh and minimally processed agricultural products.
On Monday, July 21, 2014, FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., along with other FDA officials, traveled to Mexico to conduct a series of meetings with their Mexican regulatory counterparts from the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), of which SENASICA is a part, and the Ministry of Health, the parent agency of COFEPRIS, as part of their work to strengthen cooperation for produce safety.
April 10, 2014
Dressed in a white cowboy hat and shirt in the merciless sun, 63-year-old Juan Leana Malpica proudly pulls a branch down in his lime grove and cups a fruit. His limes, he says, set themselves apart by their juiciness.
He has been growing the fruit for the last 12 years and has never experienced a time of such upheaval.
Officially, lime prices are in a spiral of hyperinflation, the national average jumping at a monthly average of around 50% this year.
November 13, 2013
Religion, culture and science are competing for primacy in the debate on how acceptable corn produced by genetically modified organisms (GMO) is in a country where farmers first domesticated maize about 8,000 years ago.
Last month a federal judge in Mexico City created a stir by ordering a temporary halt to any new GMO corn permits, accepting a lawsuit brought by opponents of the crop. It was widely interpreted as a definitive ban on the commercial use of GMO corn in Mexico, but experts say it will likely just delay any resolution into 2014 or beyond.
February 4, 2013
The U.S. Commerce Department and tomato growers from Mexico agreed to revive a 17-year-old pact governing prices for the goods, potentially averting a trade war between the two nations.
The agency and Mexican producers yesterday signed a draft agreement to prevent imports of fresh or chilled tomatoes from Mexico from being sold in the U.S. below production costs. The Commerce Department in September issued a preliminary decision to end the pricing accord, in place in various versions since 1996, after a complaint from U.S. tomato growers.
February 1, 2013
In the U.S., farmers and farm workers alike say the current system to import temporary workers, especially in agriculture, is slow and fraught with abuses.
But the shape of a new guest-worker program is still being hashed out. Some say the U.S. should import temporary workers the same way Canada does. For nearly four decades, the governments of Canada and Mexico have cooperated to fill agriculture jobs that Canadian citizens won’t do, and that Mexicans are clamoring to get.
January 22, 2013
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto unveils his plans to eradicate extreme poverty on Monday, a blight affecting more than 10 percent of the population in Latin America’s second biggest economy.
Hoping to emulate the recent success of Brazil in lifting millions out of poverty, the 46-year-old Pena Nieto will kick off a “national crusade against hunger” in southern Mexico in Chiapas, one of the states hardest hit.