Medjool dates are known to be grown in the Middle East and Africa, but the Bard Valley region of the United States is also a well-known growing area for this date variety. However, production in Mexico has recently experienced an expansion.
“In the Mexican desert of Sonora, the climate and growing conditions are similar to the American part of the Bard Valley – explains Rob Borley of AMS Exports – low labor costs provide a significant competitive advantage and have allowed the Sonora region to develop a date industry”.
Dates are filled in by hand
Mexican dates are harvested in September and October, but are available year-round. They are in high demand in the weeks leading up to Ramadan, which this year is celebrated from the end of March to the end of April. “We have noticed that Muslim communities in the UK and other European countries are looking outside the Middle East for new and different perspectives,” says Borley.
In addition to Europe, AMS Exports also ships Mexican dates to Canada and Australia, exclusively to these destinations under the “Honest to Date” brand. While demand peaks around Ramadan, the company sees a small spike in demand during the Christmas season.
For the past five years AMS has been involved in the export of Medjool dates from Mexico. “At the moment we have worked exclusively with one brand,” comments Borli, who sees growth potential, although export volumes are relatively low.
Dates and ‘Honest to Date’ dates are shipped from Mexico exclusively to the UK, EU, Canada and Australia.
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