The fruit sector in Lleida is interested in opening the Mexican market for the province's apples and pears, as confirmed by the director of the Catalan employers in the Afrucat sector, Manel Simon. At the moment, a delegation of inspectors from Mexico is making visits to farms and collection centers in Lleida to see first-hand the productions, after visiting crops in Girona and Zaragoza.
According to Simon, it is the initial process for the opening of any international market, which has already been formalized for stone fruits. The inspections that are being carried out these days focus on plant health; that is, inspectors are seeing how the fields are worked, the traceability of the fruit, and the management of possible pests. After that, Mexico must propose export protocols to the Ministry of Agriculture. These protocols may be more or less demanding, depending on the assessment that the Mexican authorities make of local controls.
Currently, the Mexican fruit sector is a major importer of American apples, especially of the Washington Apple. It has high land transport costs and Simon believes that Lleida's apple can be competitive. In addition, the political situation between Mexico and the US could also favor Spanish exports. Since the US president is especially tough with Mexico, and is especially against Mexican emigration and wants to build a wall between the two countries, the sector considers that some of the Mexican consumers could opt for the fruit from Lleida.