Fair Trade USA logged a 40% increase in fresh produce imports in 2011 compared to 2010, partially driven by the reintroduction of cucumbers and bell peppers and a 170% increase in citrus imports.
Officials expect tremendous growth for 2012 also because several commodities from northern Mexico are being added.
In its recently released 2011 Almanac, the Oakland, Calif.-based Fair Trade-certifying organization reported year-to-year increases for 2009 and 2010 were only 2%.
“Notably, 2011 marked the first time that Fair Trade-Certified bell peppers, cucumbers and bananas from Mexico were imported into the United States,” the almanac states.
Hannah Freeman, director of produce and floral development for Fair Trade USA, said additional new commodities certified for import from Mexico this spring include grapes, watermelons, honeydew, cantaloupes, roma tomatoes and peaches.
“There’s a lot of excitement in Mexico right now,” Freeman said. “We expect to see several new growers certified this year offering new products like asparagus, strawberries, eggplant and tomatoes.”
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