DeSchouwer isn’t optimistic about the overall economy. He hasn’t seen any improvement so far, and doesn’t see a recovery in the future.
Bebo Distributing Inc., Pharr, Texas, always is competing with open-field production for its eggplant, colored bell pepper and cucumber business, said owner Jaime Garza.
Open field producers likely will feel the effect of the sour economy more than greenhouse growers because of the difference in quality, he said.
“We’ve been moving product,” he said, though he said that he would like to see stronger markets.
Mexico also is affected by the economic downturn.
“On the growing side, the (economic) problems are not too much different from what we have in the U.S.,” Aiton said.
“Generally speaking, unemployment down there is still high, and there’s a lot of room for improvement as far as spending ability of the Mexican people is concerned,” he said.
Cathey thinks the U.S. felt the effects of the recession more than some other countries.
“I don’t think the economic downturn the U.S. had was felt nearly as hard in Canada and Mexico,” he said.
DeSchouwer said he thinks the economy is growing in Mexico, as is local consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Interest in greenhouse products is on the rise south of the border, he said.
Meanwhile, Mexican growers are trying to lower costs by switching to more lucrative crops like bell peppers and extending their seasons to sell more product, he said.