Nogales, AZ- Each March, agricultural companies from around the world take a moment to give appreciation to their workforce in celebration of Farm Worker Awareness Week. For companies such as Divine Flavor and their mothership company, Grupo Alta, this week is especially important as both companies put a huge emphasis on embracing their workforce with excellent social programs.

Grupo Alta, one of the largest grape growers in all of Mexico, has been producing for more than 30 years, and within that time, they became one of the first Fair Trade Certified™ farms in Mexico generating more than 6.5 million dollars in Community Development Funds to give back to their farm workers. The Community Development Funds have been allocated to various community projects such as health facilities in the worker hometowns, medical and dental services at the farm, and scholarship programs for the workers and their children.

At one of Grupo Alta’s largest vineyards, Pozo Manuel, is an employee by the name of Luis Carlos Romo Badilla and he is one of the production coordinators but also assists as the right hand to the main facility manager. Luis’ journey at Grupo Alta started with his mother, Maria Jesus Badilla Lopez, who has been working for Pozo Manuel as a field supervisor since it opened in 2012. While Luis was finishing his degree in horticulture, his mother was able to get him an interview, and soon after, his time in the company started. It was at this time, the fair trade committee at Pozo Manuel elected to allocate Community Development Funds towards scholarship programs for some of the workers or worker’s children attending university.

“When I was in my third year of university, I received a scholarship from the company,” said Romo Badilla.

“I remember meeting engineer Alan Aguirre (CEO and President of Divine Flavor/Grupo Alta) and he told me I could keep the scholarship until I finished but the only condition was I kept good grades. I was very grateful, and I was able to support myself with certain school needs because of the scholarship.”

Speaking more Luis Carlos, he explains how the company has supported his passion and has given him the opportunity to create a career within Grupo Alta. “I have a passion for what I do and I’m proud to work for Grupo Alta who is a very strong agricultural company who is driven to provide a quality of life for their workers,” said Romo Badilla.

“Grupo Alta is a company of respect, passion, loyalty, and discipline, and these are the same values they want from their workers.”

“When I was in my third year of university, I received a scholarship from the company,” said Romo Badilla.

Luis Carlos has been with Grupo Alta for the past 5 years and during that time, has worked side by side with his mother who continues to operate as Pozo Manuel’s field supervisor during grape season. As a production coordinator, Luis Carlos is responsible for coordinating the staff in the vineyards, teaching them the pruning techniques, selection of grape bunches, and how to effectively manage a grape season from start to finish.

Luis Carlos mentions his inspirations come from his family and that his mom has been a role model for him throughout his life.

“My family is everything to me and there are not enough words to express my gratitude I have for my parents,” said Romo Badilla".

“My mother has taught me so much about cultivation which is a reason I know so much about it today. I remember when I was younger sitting at the dinner table and she would talk to us about what she did that day in the vineyards and I think this is what inspired me to get into this line of work. She’s 65 and she continues to work in this beautiful profession and sets an example for all of us at Grupo Alta each day.”

For more information, please contact:
Michael DuPuis
Public Relations Coordinator
+1 (520)-281-8328