Interview: Guillermo Jiménez Cárdenas – AMHPAC Chairman

In quite a pleasant interview, Guillermo Jiménez shared a bit of his experience in the farming sector, his vision of the industry and his experience on leading one of the most important farming organizations such as the Mexican Association of Protected Horticulture (AMHPAC).

1.Would you mind share a bit of your experience in the farming sector?

Guillermo comes from a family of farmers; one could say that his first experiences come from conversations with his father, who founded the horticultural company Bonanza Fresh, which has been engaged in producing vegetables such as: round tomato, Roma tomato, grape, pepper, cucumber, and recently, they have been engaged in the avocado production.

Mr. Jiménez takes office as manager by the end of his university studies, having a business vision leaning more towards marketing and brand consolidation, through high-tech crops involving protected horticulture. The company is currently exporting its products mostly to US, Canada, Japan, Europe, and Middle East markets.

2.Can you tell us a bit about the history and significance of the AMHPAC?

AMHPAC begins operations in 2008, to meet the sector need of having a representative, dynamic, and active body.

Today, our agency has become the most important, in representation per surface and production volumes for the protected horticulture sector; including am important group of farmers all across Mexico; it is also the one integrating the most important group of tomato farmers in the country.

3.What does it mean for you to be leading the AMHPAC?

It is both a huge responsibility and a great opportunity; due to the political and social contexts in which we are currently at as an association, mostly due to the situation of the bilateral relationship with the US, one of the main trading partners for our horticultural industry. That is why I take office as a great challenge, both an opportunity and a great responsibility.

4. What are the main purposes and projection you are hoping to obtain with you leading on the organization?

One of the main purposes is rearranging a bit the way the board leads the association; we want to develop a more collegiate, more professional association while moving it forward in order to continue growth, and in this manner we become consolidated as the main horticultural organization in Mexico. The purpose here is that, taking the expertise of our 12 counselors, we may get more actively involved in matters of strength for each of us members of the Board of Directors, so that, our representation becomes increasingly robust and we are able to generate greater results in our contributions to the organization.

5. What are the strategic areas of the association and the main services for members?

Our association has several very important services; however, one of the areas I believe is key is commercial intelligence: it provides statistical information and market trends, which are essential for decision making.

Here are other main services of ours:

  • Training | conventions, regional forums, webinars, etc.
  • Management | Involvement in the negotiation of the suspension agreement, trade missions, counseling and collaboration of federal support, financial support and access to financing, social responsibility management and institutional bonding.
  • Counseling | Agri-food shielding program, weighing of new tomato packing presentations, legal counseling, advisory to obtain insurance for greenhouse infrastructure, market and statistical information, market and crop diversification, and added value.
  • Communication to members | Newsletters
  • Job Board
  • Benefits | Special rates for tickets to the AMHPAC’s Annual Convention, over 50% off in annual membership of Blue Book Services, AMHPAC insurance fund, agreements with hotels and car rental agencies, linking with input and service suppliers (AMHPAC sponsors), 20% off when signing up with PMA.

6. How important do you believe it is social responsibility in farming companies?

In my opinion, it is essential that all companies take it as a part of our business. For starters, our industry is experiencing a situation of labor shortage, so the way we treat our workers is increasingly becoming relevant, and this gives you a good reputation so that workers return and work for you again.

Most of our labor workers come from the Southern states of Mexico, and they come with their families, and we are here talking about their partners and both small children, and young people in school ages. Our responsibility towards them covers the entire family, so we must see this provision of care and attention as a permanent policy and action in our companies.

7. Do you believe market trends will increasingly focus on companies with certifications in social responsibility matters?

Absolutely, especially in the farming area. The sector has generally be left behind a bit in more generalized practices than other industries which have become more standardized faster, so their implementation is essential as part of the culture in our organizations.

Through actions in social responsibility matters, we may display our clients and end consumers the actions we are conducting in our companies, in order to obtain a positive perception and preference to our brands.

8. Can you tell us why is training so important to the AMHPAC?

I believe that training is essential for all companies, and our organization has understood the importance of this area; this is why we develop regional forums and webinars focused on the most felt needs of our members, and a reason for the above is that during 12 consecutive years we hosted our annual convention, where we informed our members of the most important trends in the industry, and intended to promote networking to conduct businesses. A reason of the above, is that addressing the training needs of our members, Symposium on Farming Social Responsibility will be held soon.

Having as a goal consolidating as No. 1 organization in representing the horticultural sector in Mexico, it is essential for us that our operation team, our board of directors, and the members remain current in the most essential matters of the industry; and the way to achieve that is through constant training.

9. What can you tell us about the upcoming “Symposium on Farming Social Responsibility”? What is the subject matter and main purpose of it?

Our main purpose is to train our 50 associates and their work teams located in 24 states of Mexico. We will do this by providing them with key information in terms of Social Responsibility focused on the farming sector, the environment, and farming marketing.

Some of the topics that will be discussed are as follows:

  • Global commitment of the Farming Sector to Social Responsibility.
  • The New 2019 Labor Amendment – farming sector section.
  • Recruitment and personnel management in the field.
  • Environmental self-regulation in the farming sector.
  • Farming Marketing

If you would like to sign up, please contact Estefanía Gamíz at +52 1(667)715 5830 Ext. 111, WhatsApp: +52 1(667)212 9928 or email her at: rse@amhpac.org

10. What are the expectations for the upcoming 13th Edition of AMHPAC’s Convention?

The last convention was a total success, we never had so many people, mostly because we were honored with the presence of most of the members in the agriculture council from Baja California, so it sets a precedent to improve each edition with relevant subjects from the industry while generating business opportunities.

Our purpose is to increase our farmersbase for a better industry representation, and become consolidated as the most important organization of horticultural farmers in Mexico.

11. What are the requirements for companies who wish to join the AMHPAC?

The main requirement to join our organization is to be a produce farmer under protected agriculture.

If you would like to join our organization, you may visit our website: http://www.amhpac.org/es/index.php/socios/afiliateamhpac. Enrolling as an AMHPAC Farmer Partner begins by filling out both sign up and authorization forms; and then send them to gris@amhpac.org