Interview: Clara Yazmín Parra López

Clara Yazmín Parra López is from Villa Angel Flores, Navolato, Sinaloa. She is a Public Accountant of Profession, collaborator for more than 14 years in Agroexportadora del Noroeste.

She currently is the Process Quality Coordinator, she is one of the agricultural technicians who received recognition for the outstanding performance in the Training Program 2017-2018 in the evaluation of each of the five axes of the Eleven Rivers Certification Scheme v2.4.


  1. Since when do you work in Agroexportadora del Noroeste and what position do you have?

The company has been one of the most stable agricultural companies in the region, it is one of the companies that generates more jobs in the community and its surroundings, so my employment relationship was born from my youth, performing different activities in the packaging area, paying the eventual staff, etc.

In 2004 I became to work in the administrative payroll with the position of accounting assistant, I was attending the 4th year of the University, so with the support of the Management I was allowed to continue my studies in the morning and continue with my work activities at the afternoon (which I still thank infinitely to Mr. Jose Maria Pablos Ritz).

In 2011 Agroexportadora undertook an investment project where I was awarded the position of General Accountant, once that project was completed, I returned as support in several departments of the company.

At the end of 2014, I was assigned to the Certification area where, to date, I held the position of Quality Process Coordinator.


  1. What are your functions within the company?

The main functions that I perform are:

  • Coordination and execution of Axis I Process Quality of the Eleven Rivers Certification Scheme.
  • Preparation, control, correction, handling, updating and distribution of the documentation referring to the Certification Department (field safety, packaging, social responsibility, etc.)
  • Training of personnel (packing, administrative, operators)
  • Verification of procedures and processes (field, packaging and social responsibility)
  • Coordinate and receive inspection visits and external audits
  • Performing internal audits
  • File control and payroll dispersion of packing and field personnel
  • Member of the HACCP Team, among others.


  1. ¿What are the main challenges that you face in your area?

The main challenge that I faced is the position itself, the responsibility that have implied, the difficulty of every certification audit, the compliance of every one of the criteria, the update of the knowledge and share it with the team involved, creating a food safety compliance culture in all the work team of the company and interacting with different cities of origin of the farm workers and another culture is a big challenge but it is very rewarding.


  1. What importance do you consider to have a Management System in agricultural companies?

It is very important, since the objective and mission of many companies is to be leaders in the field, however, achieving this requires an alignment of multiple factors, having a Management System that can provide us with tools for the fulfillment of each one of the objectives set by the direction is, without a doubt, a great help for us as a company.


  1. What methodology do you apply to achieve a culture of compliance in the company?

The method that we have been implementing as a company and as a department to create a culture of compliance with all staff is awareness through training (internal and external), trainings, courses, talks, etc. on the importance of food safety and quality of our products and the safety of workers in the different processes, among others.


  1. How important are certifications for the company and since when did the company start working under the Eleven Rivers Certification Scheme?

Certifications are fundamental for the company. The compliance with the different certification standards is part of the process that allows us to achieve the trust of our customers and the acceptance of our products in the national and international market, achieving with this the competitiveness established in the mission of the company.

Agroexportadora del Noroeste started in 2014 with the diagnosis and in 2015 achieved the certification under the Eleven Rivers Certification Scheme.


  1. Tell us about your experience in the certification process with Eleven Rivers

Honestly, it was a very big personal challenge, I studied public accounting, I worked for 12 years in the administrative area, I knew some procedures of the company, but I completely ignored the subject of safety and quality of food, I did not know everything that entails complying with a certification scheme.

As soon as I been told that I would be part of the certification department, the test started, it was like starting from scratch, the company had established as objective of that season to achieve certification of the Eleven Rivers Certification Scheme.

It was necessary to work very hard, to dedicate a lot of my time and effort. However, even in the distrust of some who did not believe that I was capable and with the support of direction of the company, the work team and external advisers (Tecsia and colleagues from other agricultural companies), training, diplomas, readings, research, thoroughly study the operating manuals of the company, among many other activities, we obtained the Eleven Rivers Certification.

One of my goals has always been to stand out in any activity I do, so when we received the news that we had approved the certification audit, the happiness and satisfaction with that achievement was enormous for me and for the entire team.


  1. Do you consider that being incorporated into Eleven Rivers has brought some benefit to the company and, if so, what has it been?

Yes, without a doubt the Eleven Rivers Scheme is a very complete certification, it has brought us many benefits as a company, for example the certifications department was consolidated, its weekly verifications have helped us to be prepared at all time and at the same time comply with other certifications.


  1. How important do you consider continuous training and how do you transmit your knowledge to other collaborators of the company?

I believe that training is of utmost importance in a company, the approach, interaction with workers, sensitize them in that we are the link of a chain called Agroexportadora del Noroeste, to make them understand how important they are, their safety and their activities in order to achieve the established objectives, we try to transmit everything we learn in the annual Eleven Rivers trainings and that this is reflected in the daily activities of the company.


  1. What did you feel about gaining recognition in the annual Eleven Rivers Training Program?

Honestly I did not expect it, I just went to a meeting where they would give us the training diplomas to the participants of the company, I was surprised when they said my name and see that they had evaluated the performance of all the participants, thank you very much, it was good motivation.


  1. ¿What topics do you consider of importance for our next training season?

Tools to validate and verified the farm procedures, deep in the knowledge of each axes of the Eleven Rivers Certification Scheme, corrective measures and environment.


  1. Anything additional you wish to add?

Thank you for recognizing the efforts of the technicians, thanks to Agroexportadora del Noroeste (senior management, managers, operators, etc.) For the constant support to the certifications department, congratulate the work team for the achievements and motivate all others to follow good agricultural practices along the way, since food safety and social responsibility are a common benefit.