News Expo ANTAD 2017 By Steven Maxwell March 20, 2017 | 3:18 pm EDT PUREPECHA: A family-run avocado grower-packer that is now on its third generation after more than 70 years in the business, Michoacán-based Purepecha focuses primarily on exports, with an estimated 70-75% of total production — about 25,000 tons — destined for markets outside Mexico. Of these, the U.S. and Canada are the most significant, with the company working directly with major retailers of the caliber of Costco and Wal-Mart, Purepecha’s Ricardo Vega says. As well as being GlobalGAP and PrimusLabs certified, Vega says Purepecha recently gained organic certification. Photo By Steven Maxwell MONTE REAL: Aguascalientes-based Monte Real — also known by its parent company name Agropecuaria Marlee — highlights its move into wonderful variety pomegranate production, which complements existing apricot, table grape, plum and fig businesses, sales manager Héctor Escudero says. Apricots are at the heart of the 50-year-old company, with an emphasis on larger clingstone varieties, such as Roxana, San Gabriel and San Carlos. The company expects to begin exports to the U.S. and Central America this year. Photo By Steven Maxwell NATURESWEET FARMS: Karen Culebro, Naturesweet’s Mexico sales manager, showcases Constellation, a tomato medley pack with Sunburst and Glory varieties, as well as Jubilee, chocolate grape and orange grape tomatoes, available in 16.5-, 24- and 32-ounce packs. Naturesweet’s growing interest in Mexico is not just as a grower for export to the U.S. Naturesweet also sells to the domestic market in Mexico. “At the moment, we’re working on developing the Mexican market by helping consumers to understand what are the differences between tomato varieties,” she says. Photo By Steven Maxwell BERRIES PARADISE: Ana Blanca Solís, international sales executive for Mexican soft fruit grower-exporter Berries Paradise, says the company is highlighting Sofia, a new jumbo-sized blueberry that is expected to find favor in the U.S. Although large in size, at 21-23 millimeters, the exclusive variety boasts a sweet taste and matures rapidly, Solís says. With production in the states of Michoacán, Colima and Jalisco, Berries Paradise also exports the more acidic Biloxi variety, as well as raspberries and blackberries. Photo By Steven Maxwell AGRO FRESAM: Based in the state of Michoacán, Agro Fresam specializes in the production, packing, processing and export of fresh and frozen strawberries to the U.S., Canada and Brazil. According to the company’s operations director Manuel Sámano, Agro Fresam produces 20 million pounds of fruit every year, including mangoes, 90% of which are exported. The 50-year-old company recently launched the Fresam brand in Mexico, which it hopes to introduce to the U.S. in the near future. Photo By Steven Maxwell DRISCOLLS MEXICO: Victor Cedillo, national sales manager for Driscolls Mexico, attends the expo to highlight increased production in Mexico, with plans to grow by 50% over the next five years. “This means we are going to have more fruit available for the U.S. and Canada, as well as here in Mexico,” Cedillo says. “We have continued to grow over the last year, both in volumes and production area, and availability now stretches from September through to May, which complements the U.S. season in a very interesting way,” he says. The company now ships directly to Costco, Whole Foods and Wegmans in the U.S. from Mexico. Photo By Steven Maxwell COLORADO DEPT OF AGRICULTURE: John Addison from Colorado’s Department of Agriculture highlights produce exports to Mexico, including onions, carrots and apples, as well as potatoes inside a 27-kilometer border free trade zone. Onions, followed by carrots, are by far the most significant exports. Addison says there is “absolutely” more potential for Colorado produce, which the state hopes to leverage. Photo By Steven Maxwell 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Steven Maxwell, special to The Packer, visited booths at ANTAD, a retail expo and convention in Guadalajara, Mexico, March 7-9, and reported these news items.