Farm, Featured, News

Imminent End for Mexican Mango Season

September 2, 2020

Hot & dry Mochis weather yields ripe Keitts, season end is here

Short read: The season is ending abruptly. We are ending on a high note.

One of the most important factors in my “successful” organic mango career is learning to end on a high note. At the personal level, I have maneuvered through various mango networks, regions and growers before setting comfortably in Mexico alongside the Crespo family and El Grupo Crespo. Through this long journey in mangoes (and life) I have learned that good endings, especially in regards to the timing of the ending, in this case of a mango season, is crucial for future, sustainable, long-term success.

The ability to forecast risks, problems and potential losses that every mango season’s end inevitably brings is an invaluable skill. At this juncture of my career, this luckily involves way more experts than me alone. With El Grupo Crespo & the Crespo Organic brand, we have continued to build a process that integrates many likeminded thinkers and visionaries who can hone in on the micro aspects of almost any growing situation or crop scenario. This team can equally and simultaneously keep a bird’s eye view for optimal decision-making in the here and now and for the future success for the program.

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Farm, Featured, News

Mexican Mango Season Cessation Nears

July 30, 2020

Big Kents, gigantic Keitts, rain delays and a lack of 10’s pressure us all

And, of course, it’s not like COVID-19 is no longer an issue…

 It would be a gigantic understatement to say this season has been an odd one. While I have said this for consecutive seasons, I really do mean it about this one! Oddly enough, the weather has been fairly cooperative, and crops from the south to the north have been yielding decent amounts of high quality and exceptionally tasty fruit, on time and without much resistance. We have had little opportunity to taut the highlights of the season and stop and recognize the extradentary flavors we are receiving on all mango varietals. The season is bizarre and so currently is the world before us.

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Farm, Featured, News, Product

Ataulfo Season Ending

June 23, 2020

Are we every really prepared for good things to end?

In recent years, Ataulfo mangoes have become a staple of many mango programs across the USA and Canada. Fruit eaters have warmed to this deliciously sweet and texturally silky mango. The path to increase consumer appreciation has not been easy for the Ataulfo, whose skin is most often blemished and overly wrinkled when it is perfectly ripe. Its shelf life is short, and bruises and scuffs tend to show up more on the Ataulfo – oftentimes showing up and disappearing and showing up and disappearing as the mango moves through the various stages of ripeness. Unlike its counterparts, the Ataulfo mango can only be eaten when ripe, so patience is a must and confusion among consumers regarding when it’s actually ready can be high. It’s Mexican name, celebrating its Mexican heritage, can be hard to pronounce for many North Americans, creating complications in education and marketing and spreading the joy for this mango varietal. Yet, despite all these obstacles, Mexico’s yellow slipper has succeeded, particularly in the organic sector, and especially as more consumers taste it and learn its nuances. Many retailers have succeeded greatly promoting this mango and sales have jumped in recent years. And now, just when everyone is used to its high dollar sales and consumer excitement, the season is ending.

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Culture, People

Un Mensaje del Grupo Crespo

June 11, 2020

“Defendemos la igualdad, la justicia y el respeto por todos los seres”

Es difícil para mí publicar con alegría, enseñar sobre mangos y continuar educando (o “propagandizar” podría ser una mejor palabra) cuando el mundo parece estar en un momento tan distinto, al borde de un cambio importante en el pensamiento colectivo.

Si bien creo que Crespo hace esto (propagandizar) con un nivel de autenticidad que es raro en este negocio, compartiendo nuestro punto de vista sobre el mundo de los mangos, los productos orgánicos, los agricultores mexicanos y las comunidades agrícolas…no somos más que una voz en un mar de muchos como nosotros. Sí, nos consideramos expertos en estos temas y, desde la perspectiva de los agricultores y la comunidad agrícola y a través de la lente de la cultura mexicana, estamos subrepresentados en nuestra industria en general.

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Culture, Featured, People

A Statement from El Grupo Crespo

June 11, 2020

“We stand for equality, justice and respect for all beings”

En Español
It’s difficult for me to joyously post, teach about mangoes and continue to educate (or propagandize might be a better word) when the world seems to be at such a distinct moment in time, on the brink of a major shift in collective thinking.

While I think Crespo does this (propagandize) with a level of authenticity that’s rare in this business, sharing our point-of-view on the world of mangoes, organics, Mexican farmers, and farming communities… we are but one voice in a sea of many like us. Yes, we consider ourselves experts on these subjects and, from the perspective of the farmer and farming community and through the lens of Mexican culture, we are an under-represented in our industry as a whole.

 

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Farm, Featured, News, Product

The Crespo Big Box!

June 11, 2020

 

A stronger box in the midst of chaos to ease the burden in building bigger displays of #MuchosMangoes

A few weeks ago I thought things were tough in our industry. With the Corona virus spreading through the USA at an alarming rate, mango sales and specifically the size of mango displays were not getting bigger, despite the wall of mangoes coming from the orchards.

The big, bold displays of #MuchosMangoes celebrating what we call Summer Mango Mania – or the collision point between peak production time in Nayarit & Sinaloa and the height of consumer demand, better known as; SUMMER TIMEhave not begun to appear as they usually do by this time. This season, and this week in particular, everything looks different in our world and yet the mangoes still grow and people still eat.

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Featured, Kitchen

Ice Cream & Mangoes

May 29, 2020

Obsessions and more obsessions and white chocolate ripples

Often when I share that I don’t really love eating mangoes, people gasp. I’m more than certain they are thinking, “how is it possible that this woman represents an entire mango brand,  leading its recipe development when she doesn’t like mangoes?”

In my mind I still feel like I am the best person for the job. I don’t love sitting around eating sweet ripe mangoes, but I love coming up with creative ways to incorporate them into recipes and enjoying them in various forms other than the pure sweet fruit. I love the flavor, texture and opportunity mangoes give to me. I am not needed in order to teach people how to eat a fresh mango. I’m far more useful in the instruction of how to add them to everyday cooking, and recipes, demonstrating their extraordinary versatility by incorporating them into just about anything.

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Featured, Kitchen

Mango “Quarentini’s”

May 19, 2020

Pick your poison: from classic to weird mango cocktails & mocktails
to keep you at home for the long haul

Wherever you are and whatever your viewpoint is on quarantine or no quarantine, mask or no mask… one thing that most can agree on is that a cocktail at home tastes rather good these days. More and more people are advancing their bar skills alongside their cooking and baking skills, and it’s a sweet deal for mangoes, which make a perfect cocktail and mocktail additive in their many various forms. Continue Reading…

Farm, Featured

Empaque Don Jorge Opens

May 5, 2020

Empaque Don Jorge Opens Amidst Heightened Demand & COVID-19
El Grupo Crespo’s Home Packhouse Offers Relief to Crespo & Other Brands

*All photos are pre- remodel, new photos coming soon!

El Rosario, Sinaloa, MexicoEmpaque Don Jorge I (EDJI) opened last week for the season. EDJI is the hometown packhouse of El Grupo Crespo family’s two brands, Crespo Organic & RCF, and Latin America’s largest hydro-thermal packhouse.

Originally built by Roberto Crespo Fitch in the early 1970’s, the packhouse was recently revamped by Roberto’s children Malu, Roberto, Jorge, and Jose Angel. Today they run the family agricultural business (El Grupo Crespo). The siblings initiated the three-year modernization project in Fall 2016 and completed all upgrades last season. This season, all upgrades and modernizations are smoothly running.

 

The group had hoped to travel with Crespo Organic customers to the packhouse at opening time, but the pandemic had other plans. A new campaign that the Crespo Organic marketing team hoped to launch this month educating on the modern facility was also cast aside. This campaign’s aim was to map the mango packing process visually from orchard-to-table, giving customers and consumers an up-to-date peak inside the newly revamped packhouse. For now, the older marketing campaign and videography will have to suffice, new footage is always emerging from Jorge Crespo, aka the #MangoMan, who is happy to show the orchards and packhouse from his perspective.

All upgrades were designed to improve efficiencies, increase outputs, boost quality, and improve working conditions for workers, many whose families have worked at EDJI for over four generations. This season brings a new appreciation for better use of space as COVID-19 has made packing operations complex.

The packhouse’ 100,000 SF floor space was rearranged with the revamp, and now includes an additional packing line, bringing the total to 7 lines, packing over 14 different labels for growers across Mexico and for some of the largest conventional US mango importers. There is one dedicated full-time packing line for the Crespo Organic brand and a sperate section dedicated solely to packing non-treated Canadian exports. An additional hydro-thermal tank was added, bringing the total to 11 stainless steel tanks allowing over 64,000 KG of fresh mangoes to be USDA hot water treated simultaneously.

The packhouse’s season opens with new state-of-the-art cooling equipment and cold chain systems and cold storage volume greatly enhanced and enlarged, accommodating an extra 4 truckloads in pre- and post- cooling facilities.

Despite the COVID-19 complexities and distancing/safety  protocols, the facility anticipates higher outputs than previous seasons. New high-tech, efficient, and worker-friendly stainless-steel machines – washers, sorters, polishers, conveyers, and packing lines across the space – were designed for this. Thus, El Grupo Crespo projects packing capacities will still be sizable during the height of the pandemic and significantly expandable as distancing measures dissipate.

EDJI aims to process at full capacity with 14 truckloads/day within weeks. The optimizations are not only improving efficiencies and making packers’ jobs easier but also helping control costs. This is especially important with the rise of the peso and uncertainties in the marketplace.

The entire mango packing process is extremely complex, it all happens in 72 hours, with over 18 hours allocated to post-pack cooling. EDJI is one of today’s most efficient and quality-driven packhouses packing for North America since these changes have occurred, it also now….OPEN for business. (All photos and videos are pre-modernizations and upgrades, the new photography and videography projects were interrupted by COVID-19 and will commence as soon as possible.)

 

Culture, Farm, Featured, News

Transitioning Regions

April 16, 2020

Volumes, Quality, Opportunities, Uncertainties, Confusions & COVID-19

Chatter about ‘normal life’ is peppering the air these days: When will we be returning to it? What will it look like when we get there? What’s the economic forecast? …And so on, and so forth.

Like pretty much everyone else, I don’t have answers to these particular questions. Expertise seems to be just more chatter and hypothesizing.

I am just one voice in the mango industry, but I am, by nature, a seeker and sharer of information. I have applied this to my role in the mango industry and continue to share macro-level information regarding the mango industry as a whole and the micro level information regarding organic Mexican mangoes.

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