Minimum Grade Requirements for Imported Avocados Remain at U.S. No. 2
The Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has issued a final rule that, effective Nov. 17, changes the minimum grade requirements currently prescribed under the Florida avocado marketing order and makes a technical correction to the avocado import regulation. For South Florida-grown avocados, this rule removes language permitting the commingling of avocados with dissimilar characteristics in containers for shipment within the production area and specifies that all avocado shipments within the production area need to meet the provisions of a U.S. No. 2 grade. This rule also makes a technical correction to the avocado import regulation to clarify that the minimum grade requirements for imported avocados remain unchanged at a U.S. No. 2.
AMS notes that in 2013 U.S. imports of avocados totaled nearly 572,000 metric tons. Mexico accounted for around 509,700 metric tons, with 23,400 metric tons from Chile, 21,600 metric tons from Peru and 17,000 metric tons from the Dominican Republic. AMS anticipates that this rule will have no impact on import volume, as the regulatory change being made is merely a clarification.