Salvador López García is from the State of Veracruz, Mexico graduated from the Engineering in Sustainable Agricultural Innovation by the Higher Technological Institute of Zongolica. He has more than two years of experience as an Assistant in Agricultural Safety in Agrícola BelHer.
Salvador is one of the technicians who received a recognition for his performance in the 2017-2018 Training Program obtaining an outstanding evaluation in each of the five axes of the Eleven Rivers Growers Certification Scheme v2.4.
1. Since when do you work at Agricola BelHer and how did ou get to this company?
I am originally from the State of Veracruz, municipality of Tezonapa, son of migrant farm workers, in 2015 I graduated from the Engineering in Sustainable Agricultural Innovation career, at the Higher Technological Institute of Zongolica.
Recently graduated without experience and without finding an opportunity to practice my profession, my parents invite me to migrate to the State of Sinaloa in Agricola BelHer, where they have already worked since 2012, which I accepted without knowing if I would find an opportunity here; in addition, since I arrived and to date I live together with my family in one of the shelters of the company, in Campo Dorita.
When I got my first job opportunity was as a farm worker, later I asked for an opportunity to exercise my knowledge, which was granted to me by the Human Resources Manager, who joined me in the area of food safety and from day one of my incorporation I found it very interesting and satisfying because all the knowledge that I am acquiring every day.
2. What position do you have in the company and what are your main responsibilities?
I am food safety assistant at Agricola BelHer since 2015.
My responsibilities are:
• Control and review of the records of activities carried out in the field, packing and shelters.
• Carry out safety inspections in the field and packaging.
• Maintain updated documentation of chemical products used in the field and packaging.
• Coordinate training and visits of authorities’ technical personnel (CESAVESIN).
• Schedule and coordinate field sampling, packing and shelters for process validation.
• Backup and capture of results for process validation.
• Weekly monitoring of free chlorine in drinking water and purified in packing and shelters.
• Support external audits in the presentation of documentary evidence from field and packaging.
3. What are the main professional challenges you have faced?
My place of origin is an area dedicated to the production of sugar, coffee and rubber, however, what I consider my biggest professional challenge was to acquire an employment opportunity since companies usually request work experience something that a recent graduate does not has.
4. How important are the certificatiosn for Agricola BelHer?
Certifications are very important to the company, since this allows us to position ourselves in the market with a safer and higher quality product.
5. Tell us about your experience in the certification process with Eleven Rivers.
It was a great personal challenge, since at the beginning I had no experience, however, working directly in the department in charge of the certifications with the Manager of Food Safety and Social Responsibility, it has helped me a lot and I have gained a lot of experience.
6. Do you consider that being certified in Eleven Rivers has brought some benefit to the company?
Yes, it has generated many benefits for the company since the certifications strengthen the credibility of the product by providing consumers with guarantees regarding the origin, method of processing, identification, traceability and credibility, even more so if it is a certification scheme so complete as is Eleven Rivers.
7. How important do you consider training is for a grower company?
It is very important because the knowledge and the adequate preparation that workers acquire to carry out daily production tasks is an essential element to achieve a successful harvest of quality and safety. It is precisely there in the daily operation of the company where it becomes evident the importance and the benefits of training in the agricultural sector.
8. How important do you think it is to implement a “Food Safety Culture” in the fresh produce industry?
It is very important because this helps us not just in the company, but in our daily life to improve our quality of life.
9. What did you feel about gaining recognition in the annual Eleven Rivers Training Program?
It was unexpected but very satisfactory, thank you very much, in advance, congratulations for the implementation of these recognitions since they are very important; with this, there will be more interest and participation of technicians in the next training program.
10. What topics do you consider important for the upcoming Eleven Rivers Training Program?
All the subjects established in the previous program are very important, I think it is valuable to know in a better way all the aspects included in the certification scheme, however what may be needed is to deepen them more.
12. Anything additional you wish to add?
Simply thank this recognition and congratulate Eleven Rivers in advance for choosing to give incentives of this nature, since this encourages the participants. I would also like to thank the owners of the company where I work, since they provide us with all the necessary tools to carry out our work and also grow personally.