As part of the process of promoting the Veggies from Mexico (Eleven Rivers Growers) community, we visited different organizations and government agencies in Sinaloa. As you know Sinaloa was one of the first exporters of vegetables from Mexico. Sending the first tomatoes to the United States in the 20s of the last century. Today, it is the main supplier of fresh vegetables to North America in the winter, providing more than 50% of the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers consumed in the region at this time of year.
The purpose of the visits was to introduce our Veggies from Mexico community, the companies that belong to it, and how these growers-exporters support their operations with internationally recognized certifications in terms of food safety and social responsibility. In addition to receiving weekly audits that seek to support and strengthen the practices of their companies.
Few organizations in the world, such as the VFM community, have this type of scheme that allows them to promote their practices in Mexico and North America.
A visit was made to the Secretary of Agriculture of the State of Sinaloa, Mr. Jaime Montes. This meeting was attended by the President of the Board of Eleven Rivers Growers (VFM), Mr. Antonio Jesus Beltran Ochoa, as well as its director Georgius Gotsis.
Dr. Juan de Dios Trujillo, responsible for the value-added area, and Mr. Carlos Soto from the Technology Transfer area were also present on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER). We discussed the different food safety schemes that are implemented in our community; the Secretary shared his experience and the challenges he had as a potato grower in the north of the state, and we agreed on the importance of Sinaloa exports for both the state and Mexico. He reaffirmed his support for the sector.
Another important visit was to the Plant Health Committee of the State of Sinaloa (CESAVESIN) and its president, Mr. Abraham Bello Esquivel. The main responsibility of this important organization is to watch over the health and safety of the countryside and the production of fresh food from Sinaloa. It is an important ally of our community, including one of the certificates that the community endorses is the Risk Reduction System of the National Service of Health, Safety and Agri-Food Quality (SENASICA) which is audited by CESAVESIN.
We also had the opportunity to visit with Mr. Felipe Ibarra Retamoza, Undersecretary of Economic Promotion and Competitiveness of the State of Sinaloa. We were also accompanied by Ms. Carolina Sanchez Arredondo, who has extensive experience in food exports and the search for new markets. We agree on the importance of the Sinaloa food sector, and we will seek a common front for the promotion of growers in our community, as well as other industries in our state such as mining and logistics.