USMCA Rail Corridor
According to a Mexican news outlet, an interesting infrastructure project is being planned that will further integrate North America. The project entails a rail and logistic corridor that will connect the Mazatlan, Sinaloa, to Winnipeg, Canada crossing the United States.
Per the report, 167 km of rail need refurbishment, and 87 km of rail construction is needed in Mexico. The budget of this project will be private and not government-funded. Check out the report here (in Spanish).
Mexico tackles Cheese and Yogurt Products
Accordingly, the Mexican Ministry of Economy and the Attorney General for Consumer Protection issued a “ban” on specific cheese and yogurt products. The Ministry of Economy issued a public statement identifying the following cheese and other yogurt trademarks, while news outlets identified specific products.
According to the public information, the identified cheese products are not complying with labeling requirements, origin markings, failing to provide the exact weight, or using prohibited ingredients (e.g. adding vegetal fat). As for yogurt products, the Ministry identified, for instance, some “natural” drinkable yogurts that have a low protein intake per the mandatory labeling standard. The standard does not distinguish between drinkable and “container” natural yogurt, while “fruit” yogurts do have such distinction and, thus, drinkable “fruit” yogurts have a lower minimum protein content requirement.
This government measure, of course, has sparked reactions in the business community. Mondelez issued a public statement calling the measure as “totally baseless”, while Lala, Danone, and Fud claim that their products comply with the Mexican mandatory standards. However, the Industry has claimed that they will correct any inconsistency with their products. For more information, see the following report of the Associated Press (English).
VTZ and Mexican Standards
In February 2018, Mexico started public consultations on draft projects regarding mandatory standards on dairy products (i.e. powder milk, yogurt, and cheese) as noted in our Trading Room. These standards were eventually adopted, and they were published in 2019.
Imports and Labeling in Mexico
VTZ is, of course, aware that new labeling rules applicable to imports started to apply as of the beginning of October. The new rules have impacted, for instance, “intermediate” products that are used in industrial processes and not destined for final consumers. This has caused bottlenecks in Mexican customs as reported by a news outlet this Monday.