The Mexico Conference, organized by the International Fresh Produce Association, was recently held in Guadalajara. This organization is the top North American representative of the fresh fruit and vegetable and floral industry. It has also been an important ally of Mexican growers who export these products to the United States.
The event included an expo with dozens of growers, suppliers, and national and international buyers seeking a better business relationship. Several growers who are members of the Veggies from Mexico-CAADES (Confederation of Agricultural Associations of the State of Sinaloa) community participated in the event. They had the opportunity to start negotiations for the 2023-2024 season with buyers and have access to innovative and high-tech suppliers. There were, for example, companies that offered specialized cameras where we could take pictures of fruits and vegetables in bulk and get very accurate statistics of what sizes and colors will be your packing quality, even what volume you will be packing. Other companies offered the Big Data service by seeking to generate information and production and market predictions to make better decisions. It is worth noting that these companies were from different countries, from the United States to China.
Another relevant dynamic was the expert’s talks on various topics such as food safety and sustainability. One of the most outstanding was the one given by Euromonitor, a company in charge of strategic market research. This was presented by Beatriz Torres, who explained the main consumer trends for 2023. Among the most interesting ones are robotization and, above all, how the relationship and interaction between humans and robots will be. Another trend is the high growth of people playing video games, leading brands like Madeleine, for example, have their own games in Roblox. Another important trend worldwide is the attitude that young people are taking towards companies. For example, 29% of them now make decisions about whether to buy from a company depending on where they stand politically and socially. Even 15% of young consumers are willing to boycott a company that goes against their personal beliefs.
We also recognize a consumer who wants more balance in his or her life. In Latin America, for example, 60% of consumers want to enjoy their lives more and not worry about the future. 50% say they just want to be happier. In other words, we want a more balanced, healthier life and everything we are consuming should be focused on that. Undoubtedly, an opportunity for our sector where we have the responsibility to offer the consumption of vegetables in a more balanced and healthy way.
Another important trend is the empowerment of women at different business, political and economic levels.
It is worth noting that many of Sinaloa’s exporting companies have women in top management positions, even in positions that are generally attributed to men, such as manager of packaging, or staff supervisor.
Another trend is known as “controlling the scrolling”, which has to do with the use of cell phones and tablets. The objective, rather than reducing the time we spend on these media, is that this screen time is used with better quality and content. Hence the obligation we have in the industry to transmit in better and more creative ways all the benefits of fresh food consumption.
This conference has certainly strengthened the network of relationships of the growers from Sinaloa who attended. In addition to providing them with new knowledge and tools for decision-making.