Governor promotes California-grown spinach in Mexico
Last updated 11/24/2006 at Noon
During his meeting on November 10 with Mexico’s President-Elect Felipe Calderon, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger discussed efforts between California and Mexican officials to facilitate lifting the ban on importation of California-grown spinach. The Governor also promoted spinach by taping a cooking show with Mexico’s famous television chef Lulu Pedraza. The Governor and Chef Lulu cooked a meal using spinach and other products grown in California.
“When I became Governor three years ago, I promised to be California’s number one salesman. I said I would go anywhere in the world to sell California products, promote tourism and pump up our state’s economy,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. (He has previously led trade missions to China, Hong Kong and Japan.)
This summer, Gov. Schwarzenegger committed to the California agriculture industry his support to promote spinach to consumers following the E. coli outbreak. “California-grown spinach is delicious and nutritious for everyone to enjoy as part of a healthy diet.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and California health and agricultural officials are working with their Mexican counterparts to assure them that improved agricultural practices have been initiated for the safe production of spinach. Mexican officials were expected to visit California farms and production facilities within two weeks to conduct final inspections prior to lifting the ban.
Governor Schwarzenegger, joined by California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura, led more than 60 members of the agriculture, tourism and business communities on a two-day trade mission to Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico. While in Mexico, Governor Schwarzenegger met with Mexican agricultural officials and private companies and toured retail and wholesale operations.
The California delegation included agricultural representatives from the rice, wine, strawberry, dairy, tree fruit and pear industries in promoting California agriculture in Mexico. The promotion of California agriculture is vital to increasing exports and expanding market opportunities for California products in that nation.
California is the world’s third largest producer of spinach (China, US, California, Japan), providing a high-quality, safe and nutritious product that is enjoyed worldwide. California produces 74 percent of the spinach consumed in the United States, worth more than $115 million.
Mexico accounts for approximately $17.7 billion in export trade annually from California. Approximately 177,000 jobs are tied to trade with Mexico and $581 million of California’s agricultural products were exported to Mexico last year.