Fair Trade asparagus program gains ground for Giumarra

12/05/2013 09:59:00 AM
Mike Hornick

Courtesy The Giumarra Cos.Guadalupe Pascual, farmworker at the Fair Trade certified farm Campo Pablo Borquez in Sonora, Mexico, shows off asparagus grown at the farm.Giumarra Borquez LLC, the asparagus arm of The Giumarra Cos., forecasts bigger fall and winter shipments this year out of Sonora and completed housing and school projects for farm workers in October.

Caborca, Mexico-based Campo Pablo Borquez, whose namesake is a fourth-generation grower, was the first asparagus grower certified by Fair Trade USA, according to a news release. Giumarra has packed asparagus under the Fair Trade label since September 2012.

Before getting that certification, Pablo Borquez in 2007 helped found the Borquez Schwarzbeck Foundation to benefit communities near the asparagus fields.

The effort expanded last February when Fair Trade premiums began arriving.

A Giumarra Borquez committee devoted the funds to improved housing for permanent and temporary farm workers — putting in new floors and walls, water tanks and filters — and infrastructure upgrades, supplies, transportation and scholarships for schools.

The completion of the projects coincided with the return of workers in the first week of October from remote locations in Southern Mexico for the start of asparagus production.

In 2009, Giumarra partnered with Campo Pablo Borquez to market the asparagus in the U.S. and Canada. Giumarra Borquez LLC also markets asparagus from Chile, Peru and California.

Promotable volumes are expected for Christmas.



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