Based in the central area of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Milpa Maya is growing hydroponic Habanero peppers, as well as Cherry tomatoes on a lower scale. The greenhouses are equipped with state-of-the-art drip irrigation systems and the company currently has 10 hectares in production for Habanero peppers and 9,000 m² for Cherry tomatoes.
The firm exports peppers to the United States and the central parts of Mexico, and according to Esteban Donaldo, marketing manager of Milpa Maya, the quality of the Habanero peppers they have is unique in terms of shelf life, colour and flavour. "We are in an area with temperatures of between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius, which in combination with the type of soil, which is quite limy, is truly beneficial for the plant."
Milpa Maya pursues to continue expanding internationally, especially in Europe, and is already in negotiations with the demanding English and Japanese markets. The company is in the process of becoming certified by Global G.A.P. and is willing to apply for any other certifications required by its future clients.
Exports are exclusively done by air, taking advantage of the proximity to Cancun airport, although the product has a shelf life of 10 to 15 days, the company desires it to reach its clients in the best possible condition.
The firm, under the direction of Gilmer Arroyo Sánchez, has also started the process to obtain a Designation of Origin along with other producers in the area. The goal is to acquire the exclusive rights for the production of this pepper variety, which is already marketed under the brand "Chile Habanero Hidropónico" (Hydroponic Habanero Pepper).
The issue has raised controversy in Mexico, as the variety is also cultivated in other regions. In any case, Milpa Maya defends the Designation of Origin which the Mexican Government already approved by law so that Habanero peppers can only be cultivated in the Yucatan Peninsula, which corresponds to the states of Quintana Roo, Campeche and Yucatan.