Mexico and the EU Discussions Turn up the Heat on the Jalepeño

Trade talks heat up over jalapeño chiles

Mexican chile growers want to prevent other countries from using the names jalapeño and chipotle, just as the tequila producers do. The term Mariachi music is another tradition that deserves its singularity with Mexico

Mexican producers of chile peppers want protection for fresh jalapeño chiles and those that undergo smoking, known as chipotles, (from the Náhuatl word for smoked chile).

“Turkish and Asian chiles are entering Europe, chiles that have lower quality than ours and that ride the coattails of the popularity of Mexican cuisine,” said the chairman of the National Chamber of the Processed Foods Industry (Canainca).

Chiles from Turkey are sold with a label showing a jalapeño pepper wearing a Mexican hat, explained Jesús Murillo González, but do not state the country of origin. “They’re not saying it’s from here, but they’re riding the coattails of Mexico’s prestige.”

If the protection is granted, only Mexican-grown jalapeños and chipotles processed in Mexico will be able use those names.

Murillo explained that the defense of Mexican chiles focuses on jalapeños and chipotles because they’re the two kinds with the highest market impact.

Mexican chiles represent a market of just over 7 billion pesos (US $376 million) annually, most of them being either fresh jalapeños or processed chipotles.

Trade talks will continue on February 5 in Brussels, Belgium.

Mexican exports to the European Union are about $19 billion pesos, a fraction of trade with the United States, which is estimated to have been $302 billion pesos last year but has been under threat from protectionism in the U.S.

Thank you to Mexico Daily News for this article.

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