Belgian pear growers have high hopes of a deal with Mexico

Belgian pear growers continue to look for new markets to make up the export shortfall caused by the ban on imports of EU produce into Russia. The growers hope to introduce one of Belgium’s most popular pear, the Conference to the Mexican market. Gert Van Causenbroeck of the Flemish Centre for Agricultural and Fisheries Marketing (VLAM) told journalist that market diversification is now more important than ever.  A sizable delegation of fruit growers is now in Mexico hoping to sign export deals. 

The Conference Pear is the best-selling Belgian pear. 90% of the Conference Pears grown here are exported. VLAM says that nowhere else are the growing conditions for the pears better than here in Belgium.

Up until 2014, the Russian market was by far the biggest export market for Belgian fruit. This all changed when the Russian government imposed a trade embargo against EU produce, including fruit as a reaction to EU sanctions against Russia that were impose when the country annexed Crimea. The embargo hit Belgian fruit-growers hard. With its population of some 130 million, Mexico could be a potentially interesting market for our fruit farmers. However, up until the Mexican government had not given authorisation for the import of Conference Pears. 

The Federal Food Safety Agency and its Mexican counterpart Senasica are now close to an agreement on the authorisation of the export of Conference Pears to Mexico. This means that in all probability the pears will be able to be exported to the country from the next harvest.