PHARR, Texas – The start of the fresh produce season 2021-22 was celebrated at the Pharr International Bridge on Oct. 7.

Producegrowers, importers, distributors, and consumers from the United States and Mexico were in attendance for the annual event.

The Pharr International Bridge is No. 1 in the nation for moving fresh produce. It averages 200,000 fresh produce shipments per year. It is No. 1 in the nation for the importationof pineapplesand avocados. It is No. 2 in the nation for the importation of berries. And it is No. 3 in the nation for the importation of tomatoes.

This information was provided by Ken Roberts of WorldCity, Inc., a publication that tracks imports and exports U.S. Census data.

“The Pharr International Bridge continues to remain the #1 Produce gateway in the nation,” said Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, ahead of the event. “Our bridge director, board, and staff continue to do an outstanding job working with all our partners to continue to expand growth and access through our bridge and we look forward to another record-setting season.”

At the event, Hernandez said the “unsung heroes” of the Pharr International Bridge were the consumers that use the port of entry.

Pharr International Bridge Director Luis Bazan pointed out that the U.S. has consistently remained Mexico’s No. 1 trading partner for produce and goods. He said Pharr’s ideal geographical location has resulted in not only a great partnership between the two countries, but also in the growth of their produce trading capacity. 

“The Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge has evolved into the largest land port for fruits and vegetables in the nation,” Bazan told the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service. “Currently, the Pharr International Bridge crosses more than 65 percent of all the fresh produce coming from Mexico through Texas land ports of entry.”

Ken Roberts and WorldCity reported that the U.S. imported $355.10 million worth of lemons and other citrus produce through the bridge. The value of peppers, asparagus, and squash, etc., crossing into the U.S. via the bridge was $428.01.71 million. The value of tomatoes crossing into the U.S. via the bridge was $592.72 million. The value of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries crossing into the U.S. via the bridge was $954.71 million. And the value of avocados, dates, figs and pineapples crossing the same bridge was worth $1.43 billion. 

Here is a podcast featuring all the comments made by Mayor Hernandez and Bridge Director Bazan:

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