The fast paced growth rate of fresh produce imports and exports since the mid 1980s has significantly impacted the industry as well as consumption trends throughout the nation.
The United State’s growing population, both in size and cultural diversity, has increased the demand for a greater volume and variety of imported foods. In 2009, food consumption in the United States reached 654 billion pounds. Imported foods account for over 17 percent, or 110 billion pounds, of the aforementioned total. Furthermore, each American consumes nearly a ton of food and in all, produces nearly 75 million tons of food each year. A large appetite calls for an even larger food supply.
Another factor contributing to a rise in fresh produce imports is a societal shift in ideology and values. As the nation becomes more health conscious, the demand for fresh produce rises and with it the need to increase supply. In order to satisfy this nationwide demand, imports of foreign foods is the most obvious route. Much of the fresh produce that is imported cannot be produced domestically due to unfavorable climate conditions and seasonal crop production. Also, American consumers prefer a wider selection of fresh food products like tropical fruits and off-season vegetables, so the nation continues to experience an ever-growing dependency on foreign imports.
Foreign trade yields strong ties between countries. The relationship linking Mexico and the U.S. is proof of this. Both countries gain substantial benefits through their trade agreement. For example, the United States buys over 75 percent of Mexico’s exports. In other words, America is Mexico’s number one client. International trade has helped border cities prosper by generating thriving economies and job development. Foreign partnerships, not just between countries but between companies, are more important then ever before as the trend in imported fresh produce is still projected to grow.
For more information regarding opportunities in the fresh produce sector in South Texas, and how your company can benefit from a bustling trade zone, contact the Pharr EDC at 956.702.5335.