The government is to use its Agricultural and Fishery Information System (Servicio de Información Agroalimentaria y Pesquera) to build the database, which should be ready by this December (2016).
Junior minister of agricultural development, Juan José Linares Martínez, who is also the technical secretary of the Mexico’s National Council for Organic Production (CNPO), added that the work was being undertaken as Mexico tries to negotiate organic food access agreements with key foreign export markets the US, Canada and the European Union (EU).
GlobaMeatNews has already written about the EU talks and Linares said detailed negotiations were making progress: “The letter of intent has been written and we are now negotiating what we want from those organic products, either to send out or receive, like the characteristics of the meat, of the grass used to feed the cattle, and naming the substances that are allowed for their use. Once we have a draft we will receive a visit of some EU representatives and we will later visit them back. At this pace I reckon we will have some agreements running by the end of 2017,” he said.
Mexico boosts organic consumption
Meanwhile, the government department he heads as minister – the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA: Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación) – will be staging an Organic National Fair on June 24 at Mexico City’s World Trade Centre. It will feature organic meat certified by the federal government and other organic products.
Another event designed for international and domestic buyers is the National Agricultural Expo – the first of its kind in Mexico, which will be held from September 28 to October 2 at the Banamex Centre, Mexico City, and will feature organic and non-organic products.
Meanwhile, despite concerns previously raised with GlobalMeatNews, Linares claimed the Mexican organic food market is growing at 25% per annum, citing SAGARPA data suggesting that organic food production, including coffee, milk, cooking herbs and spices, as well as meat (for instance beef, water buffalo and chicken), all recorded growth. He claimed Mexico’s annual production of organic beef cattle amounts to a million a year, of which 90% is exported and only 10% is consumed domestically.
“Our country has a double policy: boosting exports as well as national consumption. We are aware that organic products could reduce public spending, especially in the health sector due to the correlation of diseases like cancer to the ingestion of substances used in the regular meat production process: hormones, antibiotics and anabolics,” he said.