From April 21 to 23, the Viva Fresh Expo was held, organized by the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA). Our CEO Georgius Gotsis and treasurer of the Board Francisco Campaña Acosta presented buyers with high-quality Mexican produce options, the grower community highlights its commitment to food safety and social responsibility.
“This year, we had de opportunity to present the growers and promoting the vegetables they offer as part of the Veggies from Mexico community,” explains Chief Executive Officer, Georgius Gotsis. “We will also be highlighting the ‘Full Compliance’ and ‘Beyond’ tiers that we award to our growers dependent upon the food safety and social responsibility certificates they hold.”
VFM’s network of Mexican farmers has been harvesting and exporting vegetables to the United States for decades, using trusted family traditions to grow their produce. One of the community’s objectives is to reduce risk as much as possible for everyone in the supply chain, leading to intensive food safety, social responsibility, and quality standards that the organization holds in high regard. To further mitigate risks, growers are endorsed, certified, and audited weekly throughout their operations by industry-recognized professionals.
Additionally, VFM growers continue to hone their farming skills to produce top-notch vegetables using innovative practices.
“The members of the VFM community are growers who have made outstanding progress over the years,” adds Georgius. “They use the latest technology in production and packaging as well as state-of-the-art greenhouses and irrigation systems, electronic packaging to ensure consistency, and supplies from all over the world to feed their crops all to ensure their vegetables are tasty, safe, and in compliance with the highest standards of social responsibility.”
These aspects create a trustworthy, dependable network of growers that buyers can rely on to help stock their produce aisles. These practices are fundamental to consumers as they look for healthy, safe, and responsibly produced food to feed themselves and their families.
“Growers in our community export more than 25 million boxes of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and green beans to the U.S. each year,” continues Georgius. “These exported vegetables are the same ones that farmers put on their tables every night to feed their families, supporting and endorsing consumer confidence in our products.”
We had the opportunity to share the dynamics of the community with buyers, brokers, supermarkets, specialized media, and service providers. We also met some growers from Sinaloa who showed their interest in joining VFM. What most caught their attention was the “weekly verified”, which is a unique practice in the industry. Among the personalities and companies we interacted with were Clara Alcantara and Oscar Martinez from IFCO; Olivia Ortiz and Tara Stroud from Primus Auditing; Ernesto Maldonado from Star Group; Alejandro Aboytes from Las 5 Estaciones; Hugo Gonzalez from Idea Fresh; Chris Damon from Produce Connection; Ricardo Roiz from Franks; Paula Shimizu and Beni Osses of El Super & Fiesta Markets; Alberto Garza of Interenlace; John McDaniel of L&M; John Groh of The Produce News; Jorge Bon of Tricar; Ruben Ramirez of International Fresh Produce Association; as well as executives of GR Fresh; executives of Lakeway Produce; Juan Manuel Ibarra of Marengo. Among other personalities.