Last February, El Grupo Crespo opened Empaque Don Jorge II (EDJ II) in Ocozocoautla de Espinosa, Chiapas, or – as the locals call it – Coita.
This is not to be confused with Empaque Don Jorge (EDJI) – El Grupo Crespo’s original and main packhouse located in El Rosario, Sinaloa, Mexico. EDJ I’s total remodel finished last year, making it Latin America’s largest hydrothermal mango packhouse.
A new, cleverly named, pack house springs up to help
Update 2/25: We are a little behind schedule about a week and the packing house is now set to open around the 8th of March, get inspected start packing Crespo mangoes by the 15-20th! Check out the new updated photos of the packing shed at the very bottom of this post!
Our direct trade modelof doing business has enabled us to re-invest in our farm, business and operations despite the dwindling margins seen in mangoes. The elimination of extra hands allows for a little room to aspire to succeed and we take this penny-pinching process seriously, In the last few years we have honed in on some important needs as our system grows. Improvements to our pack house Empaque Don Jorge (EDJI) , in Sinaloa was one of them. Increasing volume capacity in the southern early regions was another, which is this season big undertaking; a new mango pack house for El Grupo Crespo, Empaque Don Jorge II.
I will never forget my first time visiting a major farm and processing center in another country. It was in Israel, and since I had heard so much about their advanced agricultural technology I was expecting something robotic and almost medicinal, glass houses and everything automated, pristine. I arrived to find plastic and cloth-screened greenhouses and dirt, a good deal of advanced technology in terms of watering and feeding systems, but mostly just farmers growing things in dirt like everyone else in the world. They were filled with the most beautiful peppers and tomatoes I had ever seen. The Israelis were, in my opinion, masters at attention to detail, and I think they excel in agricultural expertise because of this. They were methodical.
That was over ten years ago and a lot has changed since, but most farmers still grow in the dirt and the processes are relatively simple. Sure, we have begun to automate more in packing technologies using machines-like sorts and washers as a pretty standard way of processing fruits and vegetables, but mostly it is just a lot of labor and attention to detail, especially in the cold chain sector. Let us not forget that the more advanced technology we seek, the more money it costs, and often in produce the growers are working on such minimal (often single digit) margins that major advancements in technology are not attainable; labor, one of the major strengths of most large agricultural sectors, is much more attainable.
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.