Here it is, the photo report of last week's Expo Agroalimentaria that was held in the town of Irapuato, Mexico. Even though there was a rainy start to the show and colder-than-usual weather it was a busy trade show, with Thursday being the busiest of all four days.
When strolling around the exhibition floor and talking with the exhibitors, it becomes clear that the Mexican greenhouse industry is still expanding. "Mexican growers are eager to improve the quality and yield of their crop and are willing to invest in it. Growers have increased and are still increasing in size and are becoming more professional every year. They are doing good business", many say.
And if the growers do well, so do the suppliers. National and international companies are still growing in Mexico. And for many international companies, Mexico is becoming an increasingly important market. And this year, we also saw several new exhibitors who are exploring and entering the Mexican horticultural market with their goods and services.
Also this year, one of the most heard issues that growers are encountering is the shortage of labour. It might be cheap in Mexico, but if there is no one available, things can get challenging. In all stages of the cultivation as well as the post harvest processes, we see more and more solutions to reduce the need for manual labor.
Besides that, another issue growers are encountering is the high level of crop diseases occurring. Growers are eager to increase the quality of their crop, so solutions for combating and preventing diseases were welcomed with open arms.
Next to growers and suppliers, investors also found their way to Irapuato. Over the last few years, more and more companies from abroad have been investing or are planning to invest in the horticultural industry in Mexico. At this year's show, we heard that several investors, particularly from Israel, were looking for projects to invest in.
Withholding large investments
At this moment however, many exhibitors notice that growers are withholding large investments a bit. “In July 2018, a new president was elected and growers would probably rather wait till his inauguration in December and see what will happen afterwards”, an exhibitor says.
All in all, expectations for further growth are high, and the ones visiting the show could feel it. The atmosphere was vivid and according to some, it was the busiest show in recent years.
The Expo Agroalimentaria used to be, and still is, a real fresh produce show. However, floriculture is growing in the country as well and is now entering the show. For first time, a floriculture pavilion was added to this four-day event. We covered this as well in a photo report. Click here for the floriculture pavilion photo report.