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Farm Labor and Mexico’s Export Produce Industry

This ongoing project analyzes production and employment systems in selected commodities that are exported from Mexico to the United States.

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About half of the fresh fruit and a quarter of the fresh vegetables consumed in the US are imported. Half of fresh fruit imports and three-fourths of fresh vegetable imports are from Mexico.

Mexico's farms that produce fruits and vegetables for Americans hire local and migrant workers. There are no reliable data on the wages and working conditions of these farm workers. The purpose of this project is to develop statistically reliable data on the wages and working conditions of farm workers employed in export-oriented avocados, bell peppers, berries, cucumbers, and tomatoes, with a special emphasis how internal migrants are recruited, transported, and housed where they work temporarily.

The goal of the project is to work with all stakeholders, from farmers and workers to buyers, government agencies and NGOs, to develop mechanisms and strategies to improve protections for the workers employed in export-oriented agriculture.

This is a joint project of CIESASMigration Dialogue, and the Wilson Center. For further information, please contact Agustin EscobarPhilip MartinDuncan Wood, or Angela Robertson. We appreciate the support of the Walmart Foundation and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation

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Farm Labor Report Cover

Report | Farm Labor and Mexico's Export Produce Industry

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, along with CIESAS and Migration Dialogue, are pleased to launch a report on farm labor in Mexico’s export produce industry. The worker survey, focus groups, and data analysis made several recommendations to maintain areas of progress and to enhance worker protections in Mexico’s export agriculture in areas where social gaps and risks remain.

Read the Report
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More Berries, More Workers: A Look into Jalisco’s Berry Export Industry

Mexico has seen an impressive increase in its berry production in recent years. The state of Jalisco, located on Mexico’s western coast, is one of the largest berry producers in the country.

Read