In 2006, Mexico was the largest supplier to the North American market, possessing about 60 per
cent of production area.
Since 2002, Mexican production area has continued to increase at a rate ofabout 20 per cent
per year meaning that its total area has doubled in the period (2006). Growth in greenhouse production area has also increased in Canada and the U.S. since 2002, however, moremodestly at 39 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively. There is no indication that rate of growth in Mexico will ease in the near term, although there is speculation that a financial shakeout isinevitable.
Mexico has traditionally produced for the U.S. winter season, however has a wide variety of climes and altitudes that permit year-round production. Mexico faces challenges related to the highercost of capital, energy and infrastructure.
Labour and energy comprise upwards of two-thirds of total operating costs for greenhouse
The quality of GH peppers exceeds that of fieldgrown peppers and GH production
provides a much wider season of availability compared to field grown.
United States has almost no production of peppers.
GH bell pepper imports have grown fromabout 58,000 tonnes in 2002 to 94,000 tonnes in 2005.
Recent expansion seems to have stabilized in the US and Canada while growth is still occurring in Mexico.
In the last few years, U.S.consumption of all peppers has increased, rising from an average of 15.3 pounds per person in 2005 to 16.4 pounds per person in 2009. During that same time, consumption of bell peppers grew from 9.2 pounds to9.8 pounds, while chili pepper consumption grew from 6.1 pounds to 6.6 pounds. (ERS 2010)
Pests are reduced but not eliminated in screened greenhouse structures.
More attention is being paid byconsumers as to how their food is grown and there is more desire for produce grown in more environmentally friendly ways.
The greenhouse vegetable industry is very capital intensive. In 2003...
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