Interview: Francisco Campaña


Francisco Campaña Acosta, a serious and young grower, with big knowledge about the sector. He received us on the premises of his company that still retains the tradition since the generation of his grandfather, founder of the company, that is currently leads by him and his brother Cesar Campaña.

The tradition and the respect held for their grandfather is reflected on the walls that make up the boardroom, where we can see a collection of portraits that tell the story of Agricola Campaña and reminds them daily the example and commitment to follow.

Francisco Campaña was born in Culiacan Sinaloa, he graduated as accounting from “Tecnológico de Monterrey University” at Monterrey, where he studied with his brothers. Currently, it is also Treasurer of Eleven Rivers Growers.


  1. Could you tell us a little about the history of “Agricola Campaña”?

On 1947 started the work of clearing where is now the field, when they announced that they would build the Sanalona dam, people realized there would be much agricultural potential here in this area.

It was when we founded what today is this company. It has had several stages, at this late stage, my brother Cesar Campaña and me are partners, and since 1995 we are dedicated to the company, the administration and management of this area. This is our season # 21 producing vegetables and grains.   At present we produce eggplant and green beans in open field, peppers and cucumbers in protected environment, we have several distributors who we sent almost 100% of our production to America, and then also some of that production comes to Canada


2.      What has been your role in the company since its inception?   On 1995 my first role in the company was production, when my brother Cesar asked me to start an agricultural business. For 4 years I was at the head of production, he working for another company and later joined us on 1997. Currently I am in charge of administration, sales and contact with customers and distributors.


3. How the protected agriculture has contributed to the development of horticulture in Sinaloa ?

It has given us more certainty and quality. With the protected system you can achieve a better quality, compared with the product you get in  field crops. Protected agriculture generate us more certainty in production, because they protect us from the weather. About quality, it is obvious the difference between what is produced within shadows and greenhouses against what you produce in field crops. It also helps to prolong the life of the crop, many field crops products end late March or April, and with the greenhouse or roof shade protected you can end until  May or early June.   This will help your client to have a better production supply for most of the season. it will help with commercialization issues, this will make our clients stay with us, and stop looking other producers to get the same product.  Protected agriculture has allowed us to enter in other markets with poor aggregated  value through special packaging such as bagging and other packages that are already in other presentation, designed to the final customer.


3.      What are the major challenges that has faced “Agricola Campaña”?

 We have faced problems like market risks and meteorological factors that have affected us, the freeze on February 2011 was an example of a great challenge. Here  in the valley of Culiacan a freezing of such magnitude occurred in 1956 and repeated again in 2011.

Usually, even when chilled never down to 0 Celsius degree, it approached 2 degrees and for a very short period of time. That time we were several hours at zero temperature or about zero for 3 days. This year we also expected a strong phenomenon del Niño and had a lot of precipitation effect from June 1st to today, have exceeded the 700 ml of accumulated rain and some crops such as chilies have suffered that moisture excess.


4.      Before a  more demanding market, Which are your competitive advantages?   

One is adapting to the new needs and requirements of customers, marketers and final customers. Today we all see the need to get certified in food safety and social responsibility. These requirements 10 years ago were not a requirements as today. Another competitive advantage is the quick reaction to market demands fast adaptability to customer requirements.   We are a compact company, all crops and all production lots are in the same unit and whit my brother and me running the business , Cesar in the production and me in the administration,  feels that there is an effective response to all the problems.


5. what role does social responsibility should have in the growers company?


Well, first of all we must seek the welfare of our workers while they are in our state, provide living conditions that are worthy for them to turn in a more pleasant work environment and not so much a sacrifice for them to leave their homes for many months and come to work in Sinaloa.

I think is something that can be considered a virtuous circle, if we provide them those better able to stay here, weal so have a better atmosphere labor, less attrition and less turnover. But above all put a bit to the satisfaction of these workers.


We accept entire families to come to work in our field, despite incurring an additional cost, a lot of social infrastructure that we must have, such as kindergartens, schools, doctor’s office, homework club and all the services and basic needs that we must meet them such as the transfer of the children to school.


Despite what some media say, here in Sinaloa workers gain access to two primary needs of human beings they don’t have in their places of origin; one is health, access to public health system and education, because many of them bring their children and thanks to the efforts that made for years the Asociación de Agricultores del Rio Culiacán (AARC),the son of the labor workers can be incorporated into the public school system education in our company.


  1. What is the outlook for horticulture for the 2015-2016 season?


It began with a big challenge, it was the threat of a very strong meteorological phenomenon of el Niño. We knew he is going to happened, but we cannot afford decide not to plant and idle the year without producing. We have an obligation to our employees to continue providing them a source of employment and our obligations that we have with the foundations we have created over the years.


The producer must always be someone optimistic, thinking that next year must always be better, if not, we haven`t had the encourage to plant. If we thought negatively it would be a bad year, then we didn’t grow. Therefore, it is the obligation of producers to be optimists and think that we will overcome the challenges and difficulties whatever happens.


  1. Anything else you want to add?


Greet all the producers of Sinaloa, inviting them to take care of the food safety to generate much confidence in the state of Sinaloa and Mexico as a country and as a food producer. We are able to do better than even our foreign competitors. And many producers here in Sinaloa take very seriously the food safety, social responsibility, sustainability and job security, as very serious things and essential requirements to earn the trust of our customers.


And finally, we have a big challenge over the next 25 years, to produce twice of food that have ever produced in the history of humanity, in order to satisfy a growing world population, with the same resources, talking about land and water, because the land and water for agricultural use is limited. We are very graceful here in Sinaloa to have plenty of Rivers, we are the state of the republic with the biggest and best water infrastructure of our country. That is one of the things that makes Sinaloa be the leader of food in Mexico.