Friday, March 26, 2010

Produce of Mexico

I bought this bunch of asparagus in Houston, Texas for $1.99. It clearly says produce of Mexico. But when I buy a similar bunch of asparagus in San Miguel de Allende, I pay 50 pesos for it. That is about four dollars(depending on the exchange rate that day.) Can someone please explain to me why I would pay 50% less in the USA when it has been transported, refrigerated, warehoused and handled for 900 miles over several days.

This asparagus story reminds me of another asparagus story. I went to an organic sheep cheese farm near Queretaro. This is an area of beautiful fertile valleys. The owner of the land had been raising asparagus for Walmart but every year they squeezed him a little more on price until finally he gave up raising asparagus and started raising sheep and making wonderful cheeses.

Maybe he has gone back to raising asparagus but selling it in Mexico for a price that pays for his land and labor.

5 comments:

Steve Cotton said...

I wish I could tell you what I would pay here in Melaque, but asparagus is no longer on my favorite vegetable list. What you pay in SMA seems a bit high, though, for what (I think) I have seen at the store. Of ourse, pricing in Mexico is a mystery. It seems to bear no relaton to the laws of supply and demand. The perfect example is the price increases every January -- with no correlation to the inflation rate.

Tancho said...

Not only is that for produce, try a 10 ft section of 3/4 inch copper pipe. The copper is mined in Mexico, the pipe is made in Mexico and when Home Depot sells it in the US it is about 7 dollars, in Mexico it is equivalent to 12...

Billie said...

Steve, I have not figured out Mexican marketing at all.

Tancho, that is amazing. HP computers are the same kind of marketing. They are made in Mexico but they are about 1/3 cheaper in the USA. Why????

Kathy said...

I'm not sure it is simply marketing. i remember reading somewhere that aguacate is not allowed to be sold for any price lower than X (tied to the US price, I believe) unless it is not an exported variety. I'm guessing it is something of the same with the other produce. Have you noticed the tomato price fluctuations? It is definitely seasonal. And weird. Winter prices are always lower than summer. Go figure.

MiF said...

Do Mexicans typically eat asparagus? If not, then those that buy it may normally be expats, which would be a demographic that would pay higher prices for it.