On March 17th, our CEO, Georgius Gotsis Fontes participated as a moderator in the online conference entitled “Current Outlook on Protected Agriculture – The Lessons Learned during the Pandemic”, held as a digital experience of the GreenTech Americas event. Also, Alfredo Díaz Belmontes, Chairman of Asociación Mexicana de Horticultura Protegida A.C. (AMHPAC) and José Luis Bustamante, Chairman of Aneberries were involved in this event.
The first part of the webinar was led by Alfredo Díaz, who in his lecture talked about supply, demand and prices in 2020 for some farming products. Without a doubt, 2020 was a complicated year due to the health contingency. He added that the supply of some fresh products such as Round Tomato, Cherry Tomato, Cucumbers and Bell Peppers, exceeded the numbers in supply against those from 2017. Also, the demand in the main markets remained steady or increased. Many farmers and marketers only required a change of strategy to market their products. In the subject of prices, these were the highest in these last few years.
How does 2021 look like? The Chairman of the AMHPAC stated that, despite of a terrible start of the year due to an oversupply and collapsed prices; stabilization is expected through this year. Eating healthy, organic food, sustainability, and food supplements could help improving the situation.
On the other hand, 2021 brings along the acceleration in some trends, explained Mr. Díaz. Some of these are: Robotics in post-harvest activities and e-commerce.
At the end of his lecture, Mr. Belmontes mentioned some threats that afflict us this year, starting by the Dumping allegations, Seasonality, Agricultural planning (saturated markets), climate change, etc.
Also, he indicated what we should be doing right now:
* Having a strong association: Not commercial, but being a part of an association makes us strong at the Industry level.
* Market Intelligence: Looking for new markets, diversifying crops and adding value.
* For his part, José Luis Bustamante, Chairman of Aneberries, discussed a little about the actions being carried out by Aneberries in order to protect the actions of the guild and reach their highest potential, making the business both profitable and sustainable.
The industry of berries generates over 419,000 direct jobs, over 443,000 tons are exported worldwide; which generates over 3,184 million dollars in foreign currencies for Mexico.
In the same manner, Mr. Bustamante explained how the food industry has changed after the pandemic, adding that COVID-19 caused a sharp increase in food purchases at grocery stores, whereas the sales of restaurant and food service companies collapsed. Food service companies had to adjust in order to provide more delivery options.
Finally, José Luis shared how the berries industry protects itself from the pandemic:
* Use of Protection Supplies (antibacterial gel, face masks), and distancing measures in all production areas.
* Continuous Cleaning and Disinfection of all areas and surfaces of common and frequent use.
To see the recording of the webinar, just follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGAzc-MQp8I