Author: Ron van der Ploeg
HILVERSUM, Netherlands: Mexico-based horticultural training centre Ceickor, biocontrols supplier Koppert and the international hub for horticultural research, innovation and education, World Horti Centre signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to forge closer horticultural ties.
The MOU was signed on sidelines of the first virtual horticulture trade mission (3-5 November 2020) between the Netherlands and Mexico in the presence of Dutch agriculture minister Carola Schouten, Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture Víctor Villalobos Arámbula, the Mexican ambassador to the Netherlands Mr Jose Antonio Zabalgoitia Trejo, the Dutch ambassador to Mexico, Wilfred Mohr, Ceickor boss Felix Tarrats, World Horti Centre CEO Joep Hendricks and Koppert’s director of corporate marketing Peter Maes.
Initially set as a physical meeting in April 2020, the virtual event provided a selected group of cutting-edge Dutch horticultural companies to meet with key stakeholders from within Mexico’s horticultural industry .
Mexico is a major global producer and exporter of agricultural products. The country’s agriculture and food sector have experienced significant growth during the last few years.
The area of protected crops in Mexico, 51,000 hectares, has increased by nearly 387 per cent since 2003 when the country’s area dedicated to ‘protected cropping’ was 132 hectares.
Benign climatic conditions, agricultural reforms (among which is the 2013-2018 Agricultural, Fisheries and Food Development Programme by the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture, SAGARPA), the counter-cyclical nature of Mexico’s agriculture, rising incomes, increased consumer spending, trade shows, Mexican grown fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, avocados, onions and mangos) in global demand have all helped to create a market attractive to foreign horticultural business.
Koppert entered the Mexican market in 2005. The Dutch biocontrols supplier opened a Mexican branch and teamed up with the Intituto Agropecuario Rapel in 2010 to lay the foundations for what today is known as Ceickor, a centre for horticultural research, training, innovation, and capacity building. In that same year Priva opened a new facility in Querétaro to better serve its customers in the Americas. Shading and thermal screens manufacturer Ludvig Svensson’s production facility in Guadalajara started operating in March 2020. The company had already broken into the Mexican market 15 years earlier by establishing a so-called satellite sales office.
The Ceickor and World Horti Centre partnership aims to bridge the gaps between Dutch greenhouse technology and Mexico’s horticultural business, which to date is the reason for missed opportunities.
Mark Zwinkels, Director International of World Horti Centre, says, “Dutch companies, however, can make a vital contribution to the development of Mexico’s horticultural sector. To do so optimally, World Horti Center shares best practice to implement it in Ceickor and contribute to Mexico’s horticultural industry in the long-term.”