MEXICO - Agriculture
Managing Director, Mezfer Crown
Luis Enrique Miranda Arredondo is Managing Director of Mezfer Crown.
Agriculture in Mexico is an enormous business, and while it might not compare to other countries, the sector goes way back and only continues to grow. It has become increasingly modern as well, and most farmers now use more technology or install systems to water their crops, which has changed the business as we no longer depend completely on the weather. The Mexican agriculture sector can be divided into three areas: the north, which is expansive and technologically advanced; the south, which is small and includes many farmers with 1-2ha who essentially grow for local consumption; and the center, where things are shifting from being almost a 100% corn industry to crops such as agave—indeed, 30-40% of the land in Jalisco is moving from corn to agave. That also affects how we do business in that part of Mexico. The country is also growing other advanced crops such as berries, which we export to the US, Japan, and Europe, tomatoes, and cucumber, all of them niche crops for export. Mexico will never stop being a corn country, though technology is starting to change things and the crops we grow.
We have a department in our company that invests a percentage of our sales into R&D. Thus far, we have developed four products, two of which are already in the market following approval from the health authority. We also have a patent on four products and are distributing them to farmers. We are focused on changing the way things are done and providing farmers with more and greener solutions. We are investing in green molecules that are less or non-toxic and can help farmers replace pesticides and nourish their crops.
We have five plants in Mexico, and we export to the US, Brazil, and all of Central and South America except Argentina. We exclusively produce our products in Mexico but have offices and warehouses in other parts of the American continent. Our R&D lab in also based in Mexico. We formulate our products, create supply, and only import the main raw materials and do all the processing locally. This means we have the advantage of having all of our products locally without having to import anything, unlike other companies. This also enhances our main goal of having swift logistics. For example, when a distributor orders a product, we strive to complete the delivery in 24-72 hours, which is how we defend our market, and being centralized in Mexico helps us to achieve this.
In Mexico, Mezfer Crown works with distributors and small-to-medium distributors that then go out to farmers. We are extremely close to the last link in the chain; we have around 2,000 clients in Mexico from north to south. We distribute our own products and do not rely on a distribution company. That gives us a better understanding of the market, as we are closer to the final stages. In the last year, we have also been working on software that will help us understand what farmers need and want. This information will help us determine where we need to invest and what to develop. For the past five years, we have essentially been working on being more innovative, forming more alliances, and being more sustainable. We are also looking at identifying new markets that have not yet been saturated. The US and Brazil are vital markets for us, though we are focused on growing there without losing our Mexican roots. Being a Mexican company that reaches all parts of the world is something we take extremely seriously. Once you start growing internationally, even slowly, it is extremely gratifying, and this is our plan for the next five to 10 years.
MEXICO - Agriculture
General Secretary, National Food and Commerce Union (SNAC)