Mexican avocados grown on illegal orchards should not be exported to U.S., ambassador says


Adds quotes from US ambassador and Michoacan governor

MEXICO CITY, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Mexican avocados grown on illegal orchards should not be exported to the United States, the largest importer of the popular staple used in guacamole, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico said Monday.

In a visit to Michoacan, Mexico's main avocado-producing state, U.S. ambassador Ken Salazar said there should be consequences if avocados were determined to be grown on illegal orchards.

"They shouldn't they have the opportunity to sell those avocados to the United States market," Salazar said in a joint news conference with Michoacan Governor Alfredo Ramirez, seen in a Facebook video shared by Ramirez.

At least 30,000 hectares had been deforested in the state between 2018 and 2023, Ramirez said, with 817 illegal avocado orchards identified by the local government's Forest Guardian initiative.

"Surely very soon the export protocol for avocados (from Mexico to the United States) will include a clause, an environmental guide that will have a direct reference to the Forest Guardian, from packaging based on the traceability of the product, to the orchard ... until it arrives for sale in the United States," Ramirez said.

Mexico, the world's largest avocado exporter, sends 2.5 million metric tons abroad, according to data from its agriculture ministry.

(Reporting by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Anthony Esposito)

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