Mexico Council of IFPA calls for fairer prices for producers
The recently-formed Mexico Council of the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) has called on markets and retailers to provide fairer prices to ensure a sustainable future for the country's producers.
Speaking to Fresh Fruit Portal, Ernesto Cardona, President of the IFPA Mexico Council who is also a member of the IFPA global board of directors, say the council had identified three key areas in which it would focus its campaigning efforts from the seven strategies already outlined by the association.
In the case of Mexico, Cardona said sustainability and manpower, consumption and demand, and the supply chain were all points of focus that the group would be concentrating on.
“Sustainability is a challenge for the Mexican producers because it is linked to the cost of raw materials and inputs,” he explained.
“We need to see a recognition on the part of markets that there is a need to pay for the added value that sustainable produce generates.
“A sustainable product is not just the packaging, it’s fair-trade, sustainable production, and a number of other factors. We need to educate and make consumers aware of the importance of sustainability, such as the need to take more care of our workers.”
Cardona said the primary focus for the IFPA Mexico Council going forward was on taking timely, specific actions around the key points that they had identified as priorities for Mexican growers.
“We have become more conscious as a sector of the problems that we have, and once we do that it will be easier to find solutions, whether they be within the companies themselves, through associations or distributors, or with the support of government,” he said.
In terms of the management of Mexico's water table and the use of irrigation from central regions to the south of the country, Cardona called for stricter regulations around the use of wells and irrigation, as well as the implementation of measures to avoid the loss of rainwater.
Cardona was speaking following the recently-organized IFPA Mexico Conference, which took place in the city of Guadalajara from June 22-23, 2022.
He added: “The event went incredibly well. It surpassed all the expectations we had with a big turnout and people from all areas of the supply chain, from greenhouse operators and producers to retail, distributors and importers.”
Cardona himself is head of Mexico City-based Austral Trading, a fourth-generation, family-run business, which focuses on the import and export of a wide range of fruits and vegetables to foodservice, grocery retailers and market distributors.