According to the recent study marketing of inputs for organic agriculture in Mexico, carried out by the Foreign Trade Promoter of Costa Rica (PROCOMER), our country could export supplies for organic production from Mexico, the third country in Latin America with the largest area destined to that kind of production.
The study indicates that the Costa Rican supply of bio-inputs can look for business opportunities based on the country’s experience with bananas, for example, with the shipment to Colima on the Mexican Pacific coast, of products such as packaging and equipment associated with cultivation such as road cables, bags to cover bunches and products for the control of sigatoka.
In addition, other inputs related to the cultivation of coffee to control rust and CBB in Oaxaca and Nayarit; followed by inputs for avocado to control anthracnose in Michoacán and others such as insecticides or organic repellants and virus control for red tomatoes and berries.
Mexican organic agriculture
Organic agricultural production in Mexico can be perceived as a small segment, equivalent to 0.2% of the territory, but in recent years it has grown by 28% (2015-2019). According to the Agrifood and Fisheries Information Service of Mexico (SIAP), in 2019 the value of organic production was estimated at $ 302 million; where 54% comes from Michoacán (avocados and mango), 18% from Baja California (lettuce, spinach, onion and celery), 10% from Baja California Sur (tomato, basil and asparagus), 6.4% from Colima (banana ) and 4% of organic coffee produced mainly in Chiapas, Oaxaca and Nayarit.
By production value, the main organic crops in Mexico are avocado (46%), tomato (8.2%), banana (6%) and mango and coffee with 3.5% respectively. By hectares, coffee, avocado, mango and banana dominate. Most of the production is for export (only 20% is for domestic consumption), where the main market is the United States, a country to which $ 399 million were exported in 2019 with products such as Hass avocado, chili peppers, bananas and blueberries.
Fundamental aspects to take into accoount
Marta Esquivel, Director of Commercial Intelligence at PROCOMER, stated that, in order to participate in the Mexican bio-inputs market, at least two aspects that Costa Rican companies must consider are fundamental: first, offering a competitive price (which includes intermediation and logistics costs, that can increase the price from Costa Rica by up to 40%) and second, certify the quality of bio-inputs to comply with the Mexican LPO program, which regulates this market.
For his part, Enrique Ulloa, Analyst in charge of the study, added that there are also challenges that exporters must face such as the lack of knowledge of our offer by Mexican producers, a business culture associated with low prices, little proactivity of points sales for the promotion of products and the time required for health records (one to three years).
The study expanded that, in terms of how to enter the market, you can choose a business model in which you sell to distribution companies that are in charge of direct sales to the producer, and the Costa Rican company can complement with technical advice , planning and monitoring services for trials with organic products and after-sales support in conjunction with the distributor.