Certified Greenhouse Farmers expands into Mexico

August 07, 2013
Written by Certified Greenhouse Farmers
Aug. 7, 2013, Bellevue, WA — Certified Greenhouse Farmers approved four new grower members from Mexico at their board meeting earlier this month.

The new members include Horticola Cimarron in Guanajuato, Finca Ahuehuetes, High Tech Gardens and Solar Garden in Queretaro. This represents the first members from Mexico and expands the association’s North American base.

“We have always viewed ourselves as an association representing North America, so expansion to include Mexican producers was inevitable,” says CGF president Ed Beckman.

“Our association’s goal is differentiation of the greenhouse vegetable category based upon common production standards. By adding Mexican producers as members, we expand our reach and can speak with a more unified voice on behalf of the greenhouse industry.”

CGF APPLIES STRICT DEFINITION OF GREENHOUSE

To become a member of CGF, producers must meet the strict definition for controlled-environment greenhouses as well as undergo a rigorous, third-party audit against the association’s standards.

These standards include structural and environmental controls, food safety, water resource management, integrated pest management procedures, ecosystem management and integrated waste management.

After passing the certification audit, members can place a CGF seal on their products and packaging.

“This certification is an important step that distinguishes us from other tomato growers, as this certification guarantees the highest standards of tomato production, the same we follow in this company,” said greenhouse grower Jr. Sedrach Camacho Zamorano of Finca Ahuehuetes, S.A. de C.V., a company dedicated to growing tomatoes under high-tech greenhouses inside Queretaro’s Agropark.

“The investment that these controlled environment greenhouse growers must make," says Beckman, "requires them to differentiate their production systems and that means coming together, speaking with a unified voice and joining with other producers who share their vision.
 
“Now, with Mexican producers joining their American and Canadian colleagues in CGF, we can protect and advance the integrity of the greenhouse growing process more effectively.”

MEMBERSHIPS IN MEXICO EXPECTED TO GROW

Beckman says he expects CGF Mexican membership to continue to grow as a number of greenhouse growers producing tomatoes and peppers are currently going through the stringent certification process.

“It is a great achievement to be recognized with the Certified Greenhouse Farmers certification,” stated Julia Soto Herrera, coordinator with Finca’s certification and training department.

“This identifies us as high-quality tomato growers, showing that we work under the strictest growing standards, ensuring our clients the quality of our products and getting better prices.”

Altogether, CGF expects to add over 200 acres to its membership through expansion in Mexico by the end of this year.

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