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sinaloa

Culture, Featured, News, People

Empaque don Jorge (El Original)

May 15, 2022

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 none like this one. Boasting this facility and the Crespo’s is the natural outcome of my true beliefs.

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We don’t talk enough about the quality of packing houses in our business and yet this is the one place that  can make or break a program, the place that usually solves and/or causes most problems in terms of product quality, food safety and compliances. 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.

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Farm, Featured, News

Challenging Transition on the Foreground

April 20, 2022

Mature southern fruit + late Nayarit entrance = complex changeover

By definition the word foreground insinuates a seemingly larger position of prominence.  I choose to use that word here as it’s important that we all understand the complexities that are looming in the mango world, as Mexico prepares to transition from the southern producing regions to the northern ones.

By no means it is a dire situation facing us, at least not for us, but it is one that will require us to work together in cooperation in order to keep things smooth for  increasing sales and consumer satisfaction; consumers, who this time of year begin to consume more and more mangoes, as we need them to.

The northern regions of Nayarit and southern Sinaloa start back-to-back. They  are rather large and long producing regions with extraordinary outputs in quantity. That wall of mangoes that ensues when these regions begin general production lasts around 3-4 months (and often longer) and coincides with peak consumer consumption or what we know as SUMMERTIME.

They key to moving through the upcoming transitional complexities and lack with enough finesse so that we can keep consumers happy, register pricing moving downward and mangoes flowing in and out quickly; so that we are ready for the even bigger displays, and even lower prices that move them rapidly into the hands and mouths of mango eaters, is as usual the sharing of real and accurate information from the ground in Mexico.

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Farm, Featured, News

Smooth Transition North

May 11, 2021

Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Nayarit line up for consistency in supply

By nature, transitions can be tricky. Shifting from the southern regions to the northern regions is typically unpredictable and complex. This year, it is proving to be exactly that.

The southern regions have produced a good amount of fruit, mostly on the smaller side and mostly because people like us (Crespo) have strategically increased our orchards there, in order to gain greater volume earlier, capture a bigger percentage of market share immediately, and jumpstart consumer demand sooner. There have been complexities as usual but we maneuver through them fairly well, mostly because of the direct-trade relationships we have with our customers, and the communication and exchange of information on the challenges and opportunities in advance allowing us to together, strategize, knowing each customer and region has different needs.

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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.)

 

Farm, Featured, News

Mexican Mango Season Opens….

January 29, 2020

Everybody’s favorite mango varietal- the Ataulfo, up first

Mexican mango season always opens with small volumes, and this season’s start promises much of the same. Cooperating weather has given way to an “on-time” start with the expected minimal volumes of organic Ataulfos. Growers expect fruit to arrive on US soil around the first ten days of February.

The season generally begins in late January and runs through mid-September. The southern regions of Oaxaca and Chiapas are always first to begin. From there, the season moves north approximately every three to four months as warmer weather travels up Mexico, through Michoacán, Nayarit, and Sinaloa. Several regions eventually overlap, creating many peaks in production. Continue Reading…

Farm, Featured, News

Summertime Crop Update

June 13, 2019

 

 Mexican organic mango season prepares for great peak. We will all be dripping in sweet mango mania.

I do a fair amount of writing work in addition to all my other doings…. This article was originally written for and published (in edited form) by Organic Produce Network, to see the edited version on OPN’s weekly newsletter- click here.

Consumers are having an excellent Mexican organic mango season, larger than normal displays of great looking and tasting fruit are bountiful and prices have been incredibly appetizing. This mango mania is expected to continue as the season has completed the transition into the most voluminous northern producing regions of Nayarit and Sinaloa. Reports of orchards of abundance  mangoes will surely bring ample promotions over the hot summer months when consumer cravings are most copious.

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Culture, Featured, Kitchen

Sinaloa Hot Sauce: What Grows Together, Goes Together

May 23, 2016

 Habenro Sauce Mango Rice Bowl

Saucy & Sweet

Mangoes are one of the biggest agricultural products from Sinaloa, Mexico. In the U.S., mango consumption peaks in the summertime, which coincides with the peak production of mangoes in the Sinaloa region. America’s massive mango demand makes them one of the most important products in Mexico. Empaque Don Jorge, the packinghouse for El Grupo Crespo and home of Crespo Organic Mangoes, is located in Rosario, also an important habanero production zone. Habaneros were one of the first crops and exports for El Grupo Crespo, originally a chili pepper business started in 1960 for the local market.

Chilies are one of Mexico’s heritage crops and habaneros are the chili of choice in Sinaloa. Brought over for agricultural production from the Yucatan area, habaneros were discovered to grow very well in and around Rosario, producing a good amount of heat (but not as much as in other production zones ), registering between 200,000-300,000 on the Scoville scale, on average and having a specific almost tropical taste. The great yields, coupled with the exquisite flavor profile that resulted from the area, led way to Rosario’s booming habanero industry.

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