Mango Holding Area, Empaque Don Jorge, El Rosario, Sinaloa Mexico
Boasting the most efficient and modern mango pack house around
Disclaimer:This is a boastful and prideful post about a packing house that I truly believe in. I’m one of a few globally well-traveled industry folks with an extremely diverse make up of commodities, markets, cultures and systems. I have seen a lot of packing houses and “sheds” in my travels and this one is my personal favorite- which is why I’ work with them. Boasting this facility and the Crespo’s is the natural outcome of my true beliefs.
We don’t talk enough about packing houses in our business yet this is the one place that usually solves and/or causes most problems in terms of product quality and food safety. Most fruits and vegetables are harvested and then brought to a packing house or shed where they are then packed into various bulk or retail packaging. These large and small sorting/packing hubs serve as the distribution outlet for the farm and/or the farmers. These facilities can be modern, elaborate, high tech, clean and simple, dirty and even bare bones covered (shaded) tables where things like fresh herbs are packed right out of the field.
Sleuthing through the noise north and south of the border
The truth is not always easy to find. It’s much like self-awareness. You have to have a great deal of will to find it. The current mango market is a strange one that has a lot of folks asking questions about what’s currently happening and what’s next.
In addition to produce being fickle in general, global warming has made forecasting difficult and unpredictable. Making matters worse, the industry is getting ultra-competitive with skinnier profit margins and higher operating costs. Mangoes -all the while- are a booming business. American consumers increasingly clamor for this sweet fruit, and there is little demand slowdown in sight. To-the-minute information is almost impossible to get right and those able to provide it often feel like they’re yielding what little power they have left by sharing it.
The business of growing food for the American and Canadian markets in Mexico can often seem, and often times is, a strain on the environment. Regardless of whether your climate change viewpoints fall right, left or center, we could all agree that the unpredictable nature of weather affects us all. As more and more people around the globe lean more towards believing in climate change, more resources are shifted into its science and studies, and with that comes not only solutions but simple information that can sometimes surprise us all.
New studies are continuing to emerge leading to conclusions that mango orchards can help mitigate climate change.
Weeks 8-12 are the problem. Last Friday there was an early morning surge of mango chatter amongst industry folks. A handful of the bigger conventional players released a series of statements —more like warnings, in the form of internal and external emails, the subject being massive shortages of round mangoes as the Peruvian season winds down and transitions into Mexican and Central American fruit.
Mutually beneficial results from a direct trade model
In 2015 El Grupo Crespo and I, together, took a big risk and eliminated the middle man; we laid the groundwork to sell Crespo Organic Mangoes using a direct trade approach. This began with revamping the (original) Crespo family mango brand. We notified the bevy of wholesale and retail customers who had been buying our mangoes from well-known intermediaries – explaining how this would benefit them in the short- and long run – and asked them to please support us. Three years into this adventure, it has proven to be a fruitful approach for our customers, consumers and the long-term viability of our farm and business.
If the Mexican organic mango season can give us insight into the approaching Ecuadorian and Peruvian seasons, it’s that increasingly unpredictable weather patterns complicate predictions; especially in the midst of burgeoning mango markets that continue to ripen as global consumers gravitate towards fresh mangoes and organics, at a rate that has proven difficult for organic growers to keep up with, consistently. Continue Reading…
Season predictions have become challenging as “typical” Mexican mango seasons become tenuous. Erratic weather is the new norm and difficult to gauge weather patterns significantly impede forecasting ability. Making this particular season even more challenging to foretell is the ceaseless organic demand, which many buyers describe to be moving at an overwhelming pace, despite most producers reporting slightly higher than normal season to date volume outputs in organics.
Tricky transitioning of regions in Mexican mango season- south to north
The Mexican mango season lasts for about nine months and is made up of 7 different regions, eight if you separate Los Mochis, as most do. Los Mochis is USDA sanctioned “fruit fly free zone” and therefore the hot water baths (hydro-thermic treatment) is not necessary making the Los Mochis region unique in the Mexican mango spectrum.
How an Eastern US Cold Front Spawns Wind in Oaxacan Mango Orchards
While most of the industry has been consumed by Mexico’s cold temperatures from the seasonal, southern traveling cold front, often blanketing Mexico this time of year, (nicknamed norte by southern Mexicans), we are more concerned with the wind phenomenon currently happening outside our mango orchards in Oaxaca, a dynamic outcome of these cold fronts. Continue Reading…
Mangoes continue to surprise and delight me. They are a lot like people. Whenever I think I know something about them, they prove me wrong. Things that grow are complex by nature, and taking a cookie cutter approach to defining them always fails.
As I proceed on my mango-centric food education mission, I have a responsibility to admit when I am wrong and when I too am guilty of being “scripted” along the way.
Under The Mango Tree is a sweet spot, where I, a long time mango industry crackerjack, share everything I know. A place to find mango centric, agricultural, food and culture knowledge and a few juicy industry secrets and lies.