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Guatemala strengthens its food security mechanisms to promote avocado exports

Guatemalan producers are working on the pest sampling required by the USDA in new plantations with a view to exporting to the United States, "because it is a very strong market for this fresh product."

11/25/2020

Guatemalan avocados.

A work tour in the region of Sacatepéquez and Chimaltenango, led the Vice Minister of Agricultural Health and Regulations of Guatemala, Víctor Hugo Guzmán, to learn about and verify the process of cultivation, harvesting, transportation and processing of avocado that is exported to markets international.

The visit, promoted by the Association of the Agricultural Chemical Association Agrequima, also made it possible to establish the importance of following adequate processes for the recycling of agrochemical containers that allow meeting the requirements to open new markets.

The tour began at the Highlands Foods processing plant, located in Sacatepéquez. This company receives the avocado produced by farmers from the Guatemalan highlands and from its own farms. There, the raw material is processed and converted into guacamole, which is later exported to the United States, Europe, Asia and other countries in America.

Paola Cáceres, manager of quality assurance and control at Highlands Foods, indicated that one of the main requirements for the avocado they process is safety and that it complies with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). Later, this product is processed under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), which are required by international markets.

Currently the company produces four varieties of guacamol (Traditional, Chapin, Pico de gallo and Spicy). These are widely accepted for their quality and freshness at the time of consumption. This entire manufacturing process was closely observed by the vice minister, who verified the traceability of the product.

The tour continued at the Agrochemical Product Empty Container Collection Center. Vice Minister Guzmán learned details of the Clean Field Program promoted by the Agricultural Chemical Association Association (Agrequima), which includes collection of used cans, and then reuse them. The directors of Agrequima expressed their concern about the illegal commercialization of agrochemicals, because it does not guarantee the safety of the products.

To conclude, he visited one of the farms of the avocado processing company. At the site, there is also a packing plant that allows Guatemala to pack avocado into fruit, and then export it to Chile, the European Union, Japan and Korea.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA), in compliance with the strategic axis of Commercial Agriculture, works to promote and open new markets for avocado fruit, including the United States, as it is a very strong market for this product cool.

Vice Minister Víctor Hugo Guzmán reported that producers are working on new plantations, in the pest sampling requested by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). "This is a country issue that is strongly supported by President Alejandro Giammattei and Minister José Ángel López," he emphasized.

Currently, MAGA is reinforcing the work of the safety laboratory, installed at kilometer 22 to the Pacific, with this it seeks to speed up sampling to comply with international demands.

Handling avocados for their transformation into guacamole.

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