Steven Maxwell

AZEFRUT: Under its Zavocado brand, Michoacán, Mexico-based Azefrut has been working in export markets for the last decade, beginning in Spain, but soon adding other European destinations including Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Italy. Most recently, Azefrut has begun shipping by sea and air to Dubai and South Korea, and from this year to the U.S., logistics director Brenda Aguilar says. The company has also been a major organic avocado producer since its founding, with organic currently accounting for 30% of annual volumes.

Steven Maxwell

CARGOLDMEX: One of central Mexico’s leading asparagus producers, Cargoldmex has had a joint venture with U.S. produce importer Carb Americas for four years. That relationship funded the opening of an asparagus packing plant in the state of Guanajuato, says sales manager Rafael Alfaro Rodriguez. Although it also works under its own account in the Mexican national market and Asia, Cargoldmex exports the bulk of its produce to the U.S. through Carb Americas, including broccoli, bell peppers and strawberries.

Steven Maxwell

CENTRAL BERRY: Mexican blueberry producers association Central Berry was created with to help small growers receive fair prices, says CEO Alvaro Sanchez. Now in its fifth year as an exporter, Central Berry is expanding every year. with more growers and production area. With 19 producers, the group aims to reach 500,000 cartons in blueberry sales annually within five years. Although present as an exporter principally in the U.S. and Canada, the association hopes to enter the Japanese market in the near future, Sanchez says.
 

Steven Maxwell

COPRISA AGEXPORT: Guatemala’s Coprisa Agexport has been exporting to the U.S., Canada and Japan for more than 18 years, with a focus on beans, snow peas, sugar snap, French beans, black beans and red beans. Managing director Estuardo Castro says Coprisa Agexport’s products are drawn from small growers that it helps finance, as well as its own production. Castro says that the company planned to diversify into blueberries, having purchased plants from Mexico to start production in Guatemala in the near future.

Steven Maxwell

DELTATRAK: With some 28 years experience in the cold chain business, DeltaTrak, the company founded by president and CEO Fred Wu, began life producing paper chart temperature recorders. The company now focuses on meeting individual information needs of customers through solutions including real-time monitoring, Bluetooth data loggers and smartphone apps, he says. Among the innovations being highlighted at the show was an integrated data solution that can provide information from harvesting to retail store, providing complete traceability.

Steven Maxwell

HARVESTMARK: Now part of the Trimble Group, HarvestMark specializes in postharvest and traceability solutions, much of it with an end consumer focus. HarvestMark provides insights that can track product quality from specific fields, through harvesting and storage in coolers before heading to retailers. Such information, says HarvestMark’s Todd Berg, helps companies implement an effective quality control service. Working closely with clients, including Driscoll's, the company has also put in place traceability programs aimed at consumers. “Every Driscoll’s clamshell has a unique code that allows customers to see recipes, leave feedback and learn more about the product,” Berg says.

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DESERT FARMS: The U.S. arm of Mexican exporter Horticola de Desierto, El Centro, Calif.-based Desert Farms helps market much of the asparagus drawn from 1,580 hectares grown in Caborca, Sonora State every year — about 75% of which goes to the US. Although only around 10% of total production is organic, CEO Bram Hulshoff believes that this total is likely to increase thanks to strong demand for organic asparagus. He says the company is already well placed to produce more organic volumes having adopted many of the necessary techniques over the past 15 years.

Steven Maxwell

INVERAFRUT: Veracruz-based Inverafrut is an internationally-focused Persian lime grower and exporter. Established about 25 years ago, it has established import offices worldwide. Beginning in Europe, where the company has a site in the Netherlands, Inverafrut has since opened subsidiaries in McAllen, Texas, and this year in Seoul, South Korea. Inverafrut also recently opened a lime packinghouse in Chavarillo, Veracruz, says U.S. director Gabriela Garrido. “This will give a much greater capacity to be able to expand and increase our exports,” she says.

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LATINOTRADING: Mexico-based Latinotrading, which was created by Cuban expat Sergio Paz, started life as supplier of produce to Caribbean countries. However, over the last decade the company has changed its focus to the U.S., exporting a range of fresh vegetables — plus Persian limes — to Mexico’s northern neighbor. Now with offices in Miami as well as Guadalajara, the company successfully markets broccoli, carrots and napa cabbage in the U.S. under the Greencrown brand. Although broccoli remains Latinotrading’s star product, Paz said demand was increasing for newer products such as napa cabbage.

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MOST: Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, data monitoring specialist MOST differs from its competitors by being able to track the progress of maritime shipments across great distances, according to CEO Jon Hjertenstein. With five digital sensors that detect location, temperature, light, humidity and shock, Hjertenstein said the MOST device’s innovations are attracting increasing numbers of clients worldwide, including from North America, Europe and South Africa. He added that being able to measure shock enabled clients to choose alternative road routes for consignments if fruit was in danger of being damaged.

Steven Maxwell

ROYALHALO: One of the most recent additions to the Mexican produce sector, Royalhalo was created in 2015 by Mexican entrepreneur Ricardo Hernandez as a way of bringing together his previous sourcing and shipping experience. Royalhalo’s focus, says Hernandez, is on shipping Mexican produce worldwide in as sustainable a way as possible, with all associated producers already GlobalGAP, Fair For Life fair-trade and USDA Organic certified. International expansion is very much the aim for the company, and Hernandez said significant progress has been made through new offices in the U.S., the Netherlands and Hong Kong, which are being used to promote the firm’s mangoes, bananas, hass avocados, grapefruit and Persian limes.

Steven Maxwell

SAN LORENZO: Alejandrina is the brand name of Michoacán, Mexico-based hass avocado packer San Lorenzo. Founder Joaquin Barragán was one of the first growers to bring the variety to Mexico in 1957. According to the company’s Itzi Peña, San Lorenzo has more than 25 years as a major exporter, shipping to the U.S., Canada, Japan and Europe. Peña said export expansion is a priority, particularly to the Middle East region; a market which the company is already investigating.

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SICAR FARMS: Sicar Farms, a family company in the Mexican state of Colima whose core business is key limes and Persian limes, has plans to expand, says managing director Daniel Gudiño. Starting with lemon production, the company has further introduced roma tomatoes, jalapeños, pineapples, papaya, tamarind and coconuts. Gudiño says the company’s focus was on delivering a “one-stop shop” to the U.S. through its logistical services in Mexico and the U.S., and by introducing at least one new product a year.