On May 29-30, Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Fresh Connections Mexico was carried out in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
In this edition, our CEO, Mr. Georgius Gotsis Fontes, Aldo Mares – Aneberries CEO (National Association of Berries Exporters), moderated by Lizeth Quintero Posadas – Executive Director of México Calidad Suprema, A.C. presented the Panel of Experts entitled: “The new leadership and the impact in the fruit and vegetable industry”, where they shared with attendees a variety of subjects they addressed, such as experience and industry representation, the main changes in public policies, the impact this has for the industry, and the effect it has at the fruit and vegetable supply chain.
In his participation, Mr. Gotsis highlighted the great opportunity the fresh produce industry has, which is in market diversification, since agriculture production these days is focused on exports; however, our main destination market, the US, represents a high percentage of horticultural product exports; this is why there is a need to explore new possibilities by meeting this need. He commented on the great logistical challenges this may imply, which need to be addressed so we could explore other markets in the short term.
He also shared with attendees the main changes the labor policy in Mexico has undergone, and the effects it has implied for growers in Sinaloa. For such, he shared what he considers the strategies for new circumstances and competitiveness, such as certifications, efficiency, compliance with international regulations, and teamwork.
Also, he said the need for promotion is essential for agriculture commodity positioning, and for market diversification, which must be carried out directly by growers.
This event also featured a conference on consumer trends in Mexico, and how retailers are responding to these trends by Pedro Varela Mansur, Purchase Manager of Fruits and Vegetables at Walmart México; José Luis Rodríguez, Assistant Director of Fresh Products, Fruits and Vegetables Division at H-E-B Mexico; Servando Carbajal Ruiz, founding partner and CEO at Super del Norte y CEO at Corporativo del Norte.
The event also included the success story of José Hernandez, a former astronaut with the conference entitled “The Harvester of Stars”, who worked in the fields of California as a child, along with his Mexican parents, which were working immigrants; he did not learn English until he was 12. Hernández kept moving forward with his studies and concluded his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and, in 1987, he started working for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. Today he is an advisor to the Mexican Space Agency.
In its 12th year, the event brought together buyers from the US, Canada, and supermarket retailers, as well as Mexican growers and commercial solutions suppliers. The activities included networking, educational sessions, and an exhibition area.
“Most of Mexico’s leading retailers attend this event, providing a networking experience like no other. PMA Fresh Connections: Mexico does just what its name says: connects people with each other, with opportunities, new products, information, technology, and more,” stated Nancy Tucker, PMA’s Regional VP for Latin America. “Our conference sessions and the list of speakers are impressive, and participants will learn from the experts in their fields. “We are also looking forward to what former astronaut José Hernández shared with our industry on how to face adversity and helping others to achieve success.” – Nancy Tucker, PMA’s Regional VP for Latin America.