Mexican strawberry growers focus on supplying US market

From Fresh Plaza | 5 January 2023

Overview of strawberries from Mexico in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on January 4, 2023. 

The Mexican strawberry season is in full swing after brisk Thanksgiving and Christmas sales in the US, two of the peak periods for the industry. Mexico has several producers who concentrate on growing and packing while the distribution, sales, and branding are done by the companies they pack for, explains Gerardo Torres, Chief operating officer of Agroinversiones del Bajío based in Mexico.

strawberry volumes by hi 1

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

“We are located in Guanajuato, Mexico, where we grow strawberries with public varieties such as Frontera, Royal Royce, and San Andreas on eight hectares. Our harvesting is from October to May but exports only from October to March, the rest is sold to the domestic market. The volume we expect is 90 tons per hectare. The US is our main market with good prices in October and November, then after Thanksgiving, prices on berries go down,” states Torres.

He says the discipline of growing strawberries in Mexico follows a set pattern with hundreds of growers focusing on supplying specialist distributors and marketers. He grows organic and conventional strawberries. “Our establishment is no different from others in Mexico because there is already a set ‘way’ for growing berries, so everyone tries to attach to it. Opportunities are in better varieties since they give more resistant and better fruit, but working with these patented varieties forces you to work with only a few big brands,” that can be a bit restrictive, says Torres.

“We are only growers. The distribution, sales, and branding are up to the companies we pack for. Berrylovers and Always Fresh are the two brands that have all the logistics, sales to the supermarkets and distribution in general, and of course, other growers to fulfill the demand. Simply put in a few words, they pay us only for the fruit. They give us the packing material, and we just have to pack it with the requested quality and deliver in a nearby cooler,” concludes Torres.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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