5 for 5: Five Questions/Five Answers
Q & A with the Divine Flavor Farmers, Vianey Camacho and Celene Zamudio of Viva Organica, and Eduardo Fuentes and Erik Lopez of Hortifresh.
Today we sit down with Vianey Camacho and Celene Zamudio, who oversee the regulatory areas of Viva Organica, and also Eduardo Fuentes and Erik Lopez of Hortifresh who in charge of production and operations. Both Viva Organica and Hortifresh are two of Divine Flavor’s organic producers in Sinaloa which produce the brand’s organic bell peppers, mini peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. Today we’ll ask some important questions regarding how their company views some of the more important topics we here in today’s industry.
Q1: Why is it important to have food safety in the supply chain?
Celene Zamudio: It is an important pillar and theme for our companies because it provides security and warranty of the products we grow. Food safety is just not only a program or a process but it’s also a culture which starts from management and finishes with the staff who oversee each part of the farming process. We make sure our workers, facilities, and materials comply with our plans and procedures, and each person understands they have a responsibility of providing the freshest and safest products for our customers. It is our main vision of providing each consumer with confidence that the produce they purchase is grown with integrity and the safest food protection programs.
Celene Zamudio - Viva Organica
Q2: Why do you think social responsibility is such an often talked about subject in our industry and what is your opinion towards this topic?
Eduardo Fuentes: As a farm company, our main focus is always the people. When you have good social programs, the staff appreciate the work they do and can execute their responsibilities is in a satisfactory way. At Hortifresh, we understand social responsibility is incredibly important to producing the best products, thus, our goal is to create a healthy and family-like atmosphere amongst our staff.
Erik Lopez: In agriculture, you must have social programs. The work is hard and the hours are long but the companies who are able to invest in their employees are the ones who receive the best results. Our efforts have created an atmosphere which attracts seasonal workers to return each season.
Eduardo Fuentes - Hortifresh
Eduardo Fuentes and Erick López - Hortifresh
Q3: What are the 6 pillars of Divine Flavor and how do they fit with your company and the other farm companies among the group?
Vianey Camacho: The 6 pillars are and should be the main base for any successful agricultural company. The 6 pillars are based on quality, food safety, social responsibility, traceability, organics, and sustainability. The pillars are the foundation of the most important topics of agriculture for companies like ours and complying with each of them offers an end result of compliance, guarantee, and a satisfactory product for the end consumer. Today, most farm companies must comply with most of the pillars in order to send product to different markets. But for companies like ours and the other farmers of the Divine Flavor group, we take the compliance to the next level to make sure each area excels in performance.
Q4: In your quick opinion, what impact is made by producing organically?
Celene Zamudio: Producing organically has a significant impact in regards to the land we grow on. Our organic production will have a positive impact on the future generations to come. Regarding the product, by producing organically for multiple years, we have created strong soil systems and this help produce healthier plants which in turn allows for better quality and cleaner products. Organics are a natural and pure way of growing fruits and vegetables the way nature intended them to be.
Vianey Camacho - Viva Organica
Q5: What do you consider the most important element in agriculture?
Eduardo Fuentes: Teamwork is by far the most important in my opinion. This is reflected in the day by day supervision of the plants and product, the harvest and packaging, and the coordination with the Divine Flavor sales team to send the presentations needed for the customers and their customers. Team work is essential to succeeding in this industry.
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