Fortune Growers, a fresh produce company based in Elgin, Illinois, has partnered with the Mexican government in order to strengthen the growth of Mexican produce. The company works closely with larger agribusiness companies across North America, and their latest initiative has them working closely with small and medium-sized growers across Mexico by creating logistical methods that would increase trade and facilitate growth.
The overall goal of the initiatives is to increase both import and export trade that will grow healthy communities across the country by implementing strategic objectives, which include introducing infrastructure and technological support, increasing crop efficiency and sustainability, ability to produce top quality vegetables through regulatory compliance, and enabling international trade by utilizing technology to ensure standardization and quality. Business coaching, integrating established supply chain networks of growers, and accessing the latest technologies are a few of the many resources being used from which small and medium-sized growers will benefit.
These actions are predicted to lead to healthier communities by creating sustainable jobs in rural areas of the country.
“The Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) has been a catalyst and supporter of one of the key components of the produce market in the U.S., which is the crossing from Mexico into the U.S.,” says Luis Solarte, President of Fortune Growers. That crossing is highly critical and the bridge of Pharr, TX has become one of the most important bridges in the country, crossing about $9 billion of produce a year and continuing to grow.
The US and Mexico are working closely to foster beneficial initiatives for the ag sector of both countries.
Direct farm-to-consumer contact
It is estimated that over half of farmers in Mexico sell their products to intermediaries. In order to reduce those numbers, Mexico’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development recently launched Agro-Oferta, a mobile application that allows farmers to have direct contact with consumers, which will increase their profits by being able to skip the middleman.
“That is what makes this partnership so critical,” says Dante Galeazzi, President of TIPA. “As an industry, we are taking decades of work, research, education, training, all of these great elements and now we’re bringing these to smaller and medium-sized growers in Mexico. We have to share our best practices with all of these users and put the resources into the hands of the folks they would do the most good for.”
The free app Agro-Oferta can be downloaded on any mobile device and even encompasses those in the agricultural and fishing industries, providing detailed information about their products and services. Agro-Oferta only acts as a way for customers and farmers to interact directly with each other and exchange product information, and that no monetary transactions occur.
Another key element that Agro-Oferta brings to the table is the ability to eliminate wasted produce. According Solarte, about fifty percent of product is wasted because there is no interaction with the frozen or processor markets. He feels confident that these initiatives will make sure that everything produced is used for consumption in one way or another.