Family is a word often used around the produce industry these days, and for good reason. Many successful farm companies today come from families who have built their legacies over the years. In Mexico, Divine Flavor’s grower group is no different, and each of the growers the company works with today has ties to the produce distributor through family history.
Divine Flavor is currently harvesting in west Mexico in the state of Culiacan, a region that significantly complements its principal growing region in Sonora with Grupo Alta. There, it has several key growers who have been producing for the company since it was founded in 2007. Though, the history of these growers and their connection with Divine Flavor goes further back to when Carlos Bon, VP of sales for Divine Flavor, was just a child.
“Our farm partners in Culiacan are not only growers who share our vision of producing fresh, high-quality produce, but they are also family,” says “I spent my childhood around them, going to family dinners, spending time at their farms, or having sleepovers at their houses. We were connected at an early age, and now our connection expands to our group of growers.”Carlos Bon
In Culiacan, the Divine Flavor group consists of Hortifresh, Viva Orgánica, Grupo Chaparral, and Campaña Agricultores. Hortifresh is owned and operated by Ernesto Urtusuastegui, Carlos Bon’s second cousin, and the company that produces organic bell peppers and mini peppers for Divine Flavor. Viva Orgánica is Divine Flavor’s specialty grower of tomatoes and cucumbers, and its owner is David Bon, Carlos Bon’s younger brother. Grupo Chaparral is the primary producer of the company’s conventional bell peppers and tomatoes run by Sergio Esquer, a lifelong friend of Carlos’ father, Carlos Bon Sr., and someone Carlos Bon refers to as a “tío” or “uncle” in Spanish. Campaña Agricultores, operated by Francisco and Horacio Campaña, is technically not family, but they have been friends of the Divine Flavor team from the earlier days of Pedro Batiz, the company’s former vice president of sales.
“Family is the epicenter of what bonds our businesses together,” says Carlos Bon. “It gives us support, strength, and the ability to work closely together in ways other farm companies can’t. Each of our partners specializes in the items they produce, whether it’s bell peppers, cucumbers, or tomatoes—all key commodities of our product range.”
Though Carlos Bon may not have the sleepovers he and his brothers once had as kids with his cousins in Culiacan, his relationship with the growers remains adjacent, given their roles as vegetable growers for Divine Flavor.