Guillermo Gonzalez and Thomas Roos speak to Carlos Borja about the use of Jiffy Growbags in a successful greenhouse operation. Carlos is a pepper grower at Villaserre, Mexico. This interview is to talk about Villaserre, pepper grower in Mexico, and about the use of Jiffy Growbags in a successful greenhouse.
Thomas starts: Carlos, can you explain how you were introduced to Jiffy, and when?
‘’I met Guillermo about ten years ago, and he told me about the Jiffy Growbags he had at that time,’’ Carlos explains. So, I started a trial in the greenhouse that I was working at that back then, and I saw how the crop was doing well. So, I really liked it, and expanded the use of Jiffy Grow Bags more and more. Within a year, I was using only Jiffy products.
Thomas: What exactly about the Jiffy Grow Bags did you like so much, that you changed from the previous bags?
Well, I was having a bad experience with the previous supplier, Carlos explains. The bags were very uneven in terms of contents. The thing that I liked about the Jiffy bags from the trial, is that all of the bags are pretty much the same. The homogeneity is great. So, naturally, all the plants are growing the same.
Guillermo explains: Carlos is now using the Jiffy Finesse bags. He likes the fact that they are triple washed and buffered. After joining Jiffy, Carlos visited Sri Lanka to see our production process. Carlos adds: We also went to other plants that manufacture the other growbags I was having issues with, and I could notice they were very different from Jiffy. That’s when I could see exactly why I was having problems with my old supplier. The operations and the mixing was not as professional as it was at the Jiffy plant.
Thomas: Guillermo visits you regularly to make sure everything is running smoothly, right? Are you happy with the service you get from Jiffy and Guillermo? And communication?
For us, that’s just as important as a quality bag, Carlos says. It’s important to have good communication. When we are asking for info, and we get it right on time, that’s really good. We are buying the product, but also the attention we receive. This is great to hear, Thomas says. Looking forward, I’m curious about your vision of the future. Of your business, but also the future of growing food in your area.
Well, with Covid, I think agriculture is getting stronger, says Carlos. Greenhouse production doesn’t stop. People need to eat, and we are feeding them. We are growing in 24 hectares and we are setting up 23 more. These will be equipped with Jiffy Bags as well. We are going to keep growing our operation continuously, despite Covid. Actually, we are building a half hectare trial site for full organic production. Our clients, the retailers, are asking for more and more organic produce, says Carlos.
Thomas: With this organic project, is that something you set up in close cooperation and consulting with Jiffy?
Carlos: Yes, we do. I already told Guillermo and we are thinking of switching that site to loose fill bags, and maybe Preforma for propagation. I know Guillermo also serves multiple organic growers and his knowledge can help us setting up our own.
So, Guillermo’s knowledge is important for you to develop future projects? Thomas asks.
Carlos: Yes, because he has experience with different growers that do things differently, he has valuable knowledge and advice for us.
Thomas: What kind of satisfaction do you get from producing beautiful crops to feed the people?
Carlos: Yes, I have to, haha! Of course it is my job, but this is also what I like to do. And if we can work with people like Guillermo and with Jiffy, that can help us to get life and work easier, of course that makes us happy. Myself, as a grower, I need to get good results. It’s not only about buying the right product for it, but also about the relationships. There are many ways I get happy about my job.
It’s really good to hear your positivity, Thomas responds. And I’m glad that everything is still running smoothly despite the pandemic.
Guillermo adds: I’d like to say that customers like Carlos, are very important to us. Some growers in this area are quite reserved when it comes to sharing information. But it’s important to share information, cooperate and it’s great to work that way.