On February 23rd at Expo Agro Sinaloa, organized by the Confederation of Agricultural Associations of the State of Sinaloa (CAADES) and Fundación Produce, a round table discussion was held on the reform of the law on the use of highly hazardous pesticides. Sergio Raul Esquer Peiro, the president of CESAVESIN Mr. Abraham Bello Esquivel, the Senator of the Republic and President of the Agriculture Commission Ms. Nancy Sanchez, the Director of Veggies from Mexico (CAADES) myself Georgius Gotsis and in charge of moderating this event was the director of Fundación Produce, Mr. Ramses Meza Ponce.
More than a confrontation of ideologies and opinions on this agrochemical legislation, it was a way of sharing ideas. Senator Nancy Sanchez was very concise in explaining the three different proposals presented by the chambers regarding agrochemicals. The third proposal, which seeks to raise to law terms the management of maximum residue limits, is the most viable, according to her criteria, to be approved and would generate better and greater regulation of them. If this idea were to become a reality, it would be beneficial for suppliers, growers, and consumers. On the other hand, as another of the proposals states, if the use of agrochemicals considered highly dangerous were unilaterally prohibited, it would be catastrophic for the agri-food sector, which would be left without immediate tools to combat pests.
Engineer Abraham Bello from CESAVESIN told us how there are viable and effective alternatives to combat pests, such as integrated pest management, where good insects eat the bad ones. This is a strategy with which this organization has worked effectively throughout the state of Sinaloa. He also told us about SENASICA’s Contamination Risk Reduction System certificate, which has contributed enormously to food safety.
The growers’ leader, Mr. Sergio Esquer, shared many of the best practices that are carried out in his company and Sinaloa’s companies in terms of food safety, social responsibility, and, most importantly, sustainability. The objective is to always offer the market products of the highest quality and in compliance with the strictest food safety and health standards. He commented that the tomato he produces and is consumed in restaurants in North America, is also the one consumed by his children and himself, giving certainty that what is produced in Sinaloa, in addition to being delicious, is also healthy.
For our part (VFM-CAADES) we share information about certificates, audits, and safety practices that are implemented in the production of vegetables and food, and that are certified by national and international entities. A good number of these are Sinaloa companies, some of which are audited every week. Complying with national standards, but also with the agrochemical application requirements of the food destination countries. This ensures that the health of the consumer is a priority, but the need to maintain crop yields and quality is not neglected.
Ramses Meza ensured that all participants expressed their opinions on these possible laws effectively, clearly, and concisely.
In the end, a compromise was generated to continue working as a team between the government, agricultural associations, and growers, looking for the welfare of the consumer and the sector.
Georgius Gotsis – Veggies From Mexico, CEO