Mexican beer producers are not worried about NAFTA

"The brewers will do everything in their hands to guarantee the conditions of investment and competitiveness". (Photo: Milenio)

According to Maribel Quiroga Fernández, general director of Brewers of Mexico, Mexican beer producers are not worried about what will happen in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because producers consider to be very well represented through the Confederation of Industrial Chambers (Concamin).

“The president of the United States has begun to talk about the renegotiation process, which is positive. We are seeing a possibility of success that will benefit Mexico” she said.

Quiroga said that they are looking for competitiveness in the industry on a global scale. “The brewers will do everything they can to guarantee the conditions of investment and competitiveness”.

She added that beer is the first agroindustrial export product in Mexico and that 80% of total exports goes to the United States, while the rest is divided into Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Panama and Russia. More over, Mexico has had a significant growth in recent years, and in 2016 it became the fourth largest producer of beer, surpassing Germany.

“It is important to be one of the four main producing countries, but even more to consolidate ourselves as the largest beer exporter. I still do not have the final figure for 2017, but growth is expected,” Quiroga Fernández added.

She recalled that more than 70 billion pesos investment in the beer sector was announced in 2015. “We are talking about new plants like the one built in Yucatán, from the announcement made by Grupo Modelo of its new plants in Hidalgo and Chihuahua, shortly, there is going to be a beer boom. ”

On the other hand, the president of the Cebada-Malta Product System, Juan Hernández, indicated that the growth of the industry is because this product has a great worldwide demand.

“As there is a great demand, there is interest from different producers in the Bajío and Altiplano areas, since it is the only product that has the guarantee of an adequate price, almost 5 thousand pesos per ton of barley”, Hernádez said.

However, he stressed that in Canada, the US and Europe producers live on subsidies, that is, they pay them around 30 thousand pesos per hectare. “The producers do not claim to be under a support concept, while in Mexico the small producers are hardly paid 450 pesos of subsidy.”

He stressed that NAFTA does not favor the sector because the product that comes from abroad is subsidized, while in Mexico there is no direct support.

Paz Austin, director of the Brewers Association of the Mexican Republic, said that the government is very aware of the business project for large brewers, but not the independent artisanal.

He also stressed that there are unfair practices, since they only favor large companies through the fiscal scheme. “It is very unfair for the microbreweries, so that is the main theme of the association, given that it is the biggest problem facing an artisan producer.”

In addition there is a problem of standards, because it considers that there is a raised upregulation for large companies, which affects the smallest. “We do not have the same economic capacity.”

For a beer to be artisanal, it must be independent, that is, it must not have the participation of large firms. “In 2016, Grupo Modelo bought four independent craft breweries” he concluded.

Source: milenio.com







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