Mexico Bean Congress Draws a Record Crowd, Talks NAFTA

February 19, 2018

A record 200 plus crowd gathered in Cancun, Mexico from February 8 -11, 2018 to hear the latest about NAFTA negotiations, U.S. and Mexican market conditions and production for U.S. dry beans, as well as new opportunities to innovate with beans. This year’s keynote address was given by USDA Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, Ted McKinney who gave an upbeat assessment of the NAFTA renegotiations, expressing confidence for a new agreement in the coming months.

USDA Undersecretary Ted McKinney addresses the Mexico Bean Congress

USDA Undersecretary Ted McKinney addresses the Mexico Bean Congress

Undersecretary McKinney was emphatic about the critical importance of agricultural trade for the U.S. and global economy and the commitments of the current administration to support and prioritize strong relationships with top trade partners such as Mexico and Latin America while enforcing a fair trade playbook with complicated markets such as China and India. We thank USDA and Secretary McKinney for their ongoing commitment to move U.S. agricultural products around the world.

This year’s dynamic was marked by a slight downturn in Mexican bean production, particularly in the Spring/Summer growing cycle, and an increase in U.S. bean production, making the market prime for purchases of U.S. dry beans. The Congress also featured a new focus on bringing dry beans into the consumer mainstream through innovation in nutritional information, marketing, and the increased use of beans as an ingredient in processed products such as snack foods and desserts, Dr. Janice Rueda of ADM brought the audience up to speed on a new and potentially game changing initiative she is working on in the U.S., to “beanovate,” or encourage innovation with dry beans. Concluding with over 400 one on one networking meetings between buyers and sellers, this Congress was one for the books. We look forward to a great year in U.S./Mexico trade and we will see everyone back in Cancun in 2019.

Posted in: Bean Bulletin