As more suppliers in the fresh produce industry make the strategic move to year-round production, the need to partner with growers in countries south of the border is essential. Furthering the agricultural relationship between the United States and Mexico, the United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and the Mexican Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Victor Villalobos recently concluded a bilateral meeting in Ames, Iowa, and have released a joint statement.
“We reaffirm the importance of our two nations’ exceptional agricultural trading relationship and its role in supporting rural prosperity; creating good jobs; and providing nutritious, safe, and affordable food to consumers in both countries,” said the leaders. “Thanks to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and our hard-working farmers and ranchers, our nations enjoy the world’s largest two-way trade in food and agricultural goods.”
The statement continued, noting how these two governments have a responsibility to protect the agricultural supply chain.
“The integrated nature of our two agricultural sectors serves as a driving force for this enduring trading partnership, linking farmers, ranchers, and consumers on both sides of the border,” they stated. “Our discussions in Iowa highlighted the importance of continuing to work together to advance rural prosperity and to fulfill our shared responsibility to protect our agricultural systems and producers. This includes collaborative efforts to prevent the spread of African swine fever and other animal and plant diseases and pests.”
The Secretaries of Agriculture added, “From excessive drought to more extreme fires, our farmers, ranchers, and producers are on the front lines dealing with the increasingly urgent challenges of climate change. Agriculture faces the daunting task of producing more food to meet the nutritional needs of a growing world population while at the same time coping with climate change and ever-tightening natural resource constraints. We are confident that our agricultural sectors will be a key part of the solution, with a focus on a more inclusive rural development and continuing to provide good incomes to rural workers and plentiful supplies of high-quality agricultural products to consumers worldwide.”
Vilsack and Villalobos concluded with a forward-looking statement.
“We share a commitment to keeping our markets open and transparent so that trade can continue to grow. That mutual commitment was reaffirmed in our discussions today. We remain proud of our shared successes and equally steadfast in meeting common challenges together,” they said.