Jungle Talks in cooperation with Rabobank Westland recently organized a trade mission to Mexico. A group of Dutch horticultural suppliers and organisations visited renowned Mexican producers from 10 to 16 November. The Dutch expanded their network during the Expo Agroalimentaria in Irapuato and discussed the latest trends, opportunities and developments in the region during personal meetings with local entrepreneurs.

Ton Versteeg of BOM Group noticed that quality and quantity of the yield in plastic greenhouses was higher and better than expected. Production levels of both tomato and sweet pepper are similar or better than in the Netherlands. Besides it is clear that growers in Mexico also have to deal with a shortage in labour and need to find a solution to this growing problem. ‘When I see where Mexico now stands with regards to the production of greenhouse vegetables, I really think this also must be possible in floriculture. For now however, Mexico is still a ‘sleeping giant’ when it comes to flower production.’

visit Red Sun Farms with Thierry Legros

Wouter van den Bosch of Kwekerij van den Bosch highly valued the (almost complete) openness of the companies visited during the mission. ‘Various of the largest high-tech horticultural companies in the world are located in Mexico. The companies we visited were rather diverse and therefore I got a clear picture with regards to challenges, strategies and operational approach. Sometimes this worked as a mirror to my own company in the Netherlands, but mostly it offered a perspective towards opportunities abroad.’

Mprise Agriware’s representative Isabelle Poessé took part in the trade mission and she was not only enthusiastic about the program, but also about the other Dutch participants. ‘It was great to travel together with other professionals. Because of everyone’s experience in the horticultural sector we could help each other with information and tips & tricks so you do not have to find out everything yourself in a new country and a different target group.’

Ronaldt Thoen, working at Bosman van Zaal visited Mexico for the first time twenty years ago. ‘The ‘high-tech’ companies we now visited (actually better say ‘smart-tech’ companies) follow similar paths with regards to applied technology and company structure; division between investors and management. Differences are noticed in the way the management organizes their companies and in this field you find inspiring examples.’

visit Holland Pavilion at the Irapuato Show

Account manager Rabobank Westland, Ruurd Filius, was surprised how open and warm the group was welcomed by the large players in high-tech horticulture in Mexico. ‘Great to see Dutch technology in their greenhouses. The Dutch horticultural sector is well-known here and it is good to see we can contribute in this way towards the production of tomato and sweet pepper for the Central and North American markets. I am convinced Mexico offers many more opportunities for the participating companies to this mission in the near future.’

Despite political uncertainty in both Mexico and its most important market, the United States, the Mexican vegetable production is flourishing. If you want to know more, please contact Ed Smit via ed@jungletalks.com.

Check out the HortiDaily recap of the Expo AgroAlimentaria here.