Roberto Sámano, from Berries Paradise: “Mexican fruit has a chance”

The COVID-19 crisis is affecting almost all the countries of the world, without making religious or racial distinctions, only it is more lethal with certain people more vulnerable to its attack.

In the case of the economies of the countries, these will be affected in a general or global way, without making distinctions, although it will also be more profound in those that were more vulnerable when it came to receiving the impact of the pandemic or, just as people, have not taken the necessary safeguards and self-care to avoid being significantly affected.

Another aspect is the new reality that is revealed with the crisis, as is the case of food, because almost all of humanity will go through stages of prolonged confinement due to quarantines and in this situation, food is the essential resource that is It has had to ensure, in addition to everything related to people's health.

The food distribution chain enjoys a smooth flow, says Roberto Sámano, executive of the Mexican company Berries Paradise, commenting on the experience of its shipments to the US markets.

  • What impact is the Mexican industry having with the coronavirus?

We are not having a major impact yet, but it is expected to be mainly complicated due to the labor issue, because there are still at least a couple of months of good volume left, especially raspberry. In the case of blueberries we are at the peak of industrial production and from now on it will be downward. Outside of this aspect, we have not had major complications since our fruit, when classified as food, has a priority category, and that includes those of us who work or participate in this industry, such as the government.

  • How is the status of shipments to the US?

We have not had any kind of restrictions. Everything has flowed in the best way because the agricultural industry is considered within the special activities, as I said, and then it enters without problems.

  • And how has this season been?

Our season has been better than the last cycle, we only had a delay of a couple of weeks due to weather reasons, but in addition to reaching the markets with more kilos, we have been favored significantly by the rise in the dollar. As a reference, three or four weeks ago we were at a dollar that was worth less than 19 Mexican pesos and currently we are close to 25 pesos, which means approximately 30% improvement in economic returns for our products.

This situation will bring us strong implications as a country, mainly inflationary, although it is a bubble due to the global effect we are experiencing, it is not sustainable in the long term, especially since the Mexican peso is the second most negotiated emerging market world currency.

  • According to what you are saying, are you calm when it comes to the industry?

At the moment, yes, with the current panorama, Mexican fruit has an opportunity. Our company is closely monitoring the behavior of demand, and the most important thing is that there is a good appetite for the consumption of berries in US supermarkets, because in the midst of this pandemic people are looking to eat healthy to stay healthy. Berries increase their reputation for health. Regarding export logistics to Europe, it is complicated at the moment, although Asia is also demanding a lot of product, given the insufficient Spanish and Moroccan supply of fruit. Additionally, what keeps us optimistic is that there are studies from Canada and Europe that have focused on the possible transmission of the virus in fresh fruit and the results have been positive, in the sense that it has not been transmitted. As I say, with the current panorama, Mexican fruit has an opportunity.



Martín Carrillo O. - Blueberries Consulting

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