How it all began
The world’s population is growing by the day, and with it the need to produce enough food of the best possible quality. Moreover, consumers nowadays increasingly want healthier, safer products that are available throughout the year. That is why farmers have to guarantee that their output meets such high standards in a sustainable manner in order to survive in their local markets and, in particular, in export markets in the United States and Europe.
International free trade agreements have been globalising the world’s markets and opening up new opportunities – for example in the USA, which has traditionally been a net exporter of vegetables but is now an importer and has doubled its purchases in the past ten years. Guatemala’s farmers know they are facing new challenges in these markets. To reach ever more demanding consumers they have to be innovative and ensure that they produce vegetables of the highest quality, free of any type of risk for the consumer, from field to table.
Bayer CropScience has forged alliances in the food chain with producers, agro-exporters, traders, importers and retailers who are committed to bringing products of the highest quality to consumers in a sustainable manner – products that are safe for consumers, do not harm the environment, and are produced at the lowest possible cost. Since Guatemala cannot escape these global trends, Bayer CropScience Guatemala and producers committed to increasing their productivity and competitiveness in a sustainable manner have signed agreements to enable producers to seize the opportunities that exist in this global market.
Flamingo Holdings Ltd., an important supplier of leading European retailers, played an essential role in providing a transparent and professional platform for discussion and explaining the requirements of the UK retail market. Flamingo recognises the importance of working together with producers and involving Bayer CropScience in essential areas of vegetable production, such as the use of adequate agricultural practices, residue management and quality improvement, while Siesa makes use of the right crop protection products.
Today’s producers are competing in a market where competent management of the safety intervals for harvesting and of tolerances and traceability is essential. That is why Bayer CropScience and Flamingo believe it is only through the combined efforts of all those involved in the food chain – producers, agroexporters, traders, importers and retailers – that the desired goals can be achieved, and the business of strategic partners such as Siesa strengthened.
Siesa, Flamingo and Food Chain Partnership
Who is involved
Farmers: Approximately 2,200 small farmers are involved in the project. Bayer CropScience offers them solutions that enable them to meet the markets food safety requirements. This model of cooperation along the food chain enables Bayer CropScience to offer solutions to plant health problems through Integrated Crop Management (ICM) to the benefit of the whole food chain: farmers, exporters, importers, retailers and consumers as well as the environment.
Siesa: One of the leading agro-exporters in Guatemala, Siesa started operating in the 1980s, exporting snow peas to the US market and to the UK in 1984. Siesa currently exports runner beans, string beans, green peas, garden peas, mangetout peas, fava beans, broccoli and asparagus. The high quality of their export products is not only due to the varying altitudes of the growing areas, which are important especially during the production periods, but also to the implementation of good agricultural practices, technological information, and a focus on service and top quality for their customers. The support that Bayer CropScience provides in certification schemes and technical training for producers enables Siesa to meet the requirements of retailers and supermarkets. After more than 25 years in business, Siesa is now one of Guatemalas largest exporters of non-traditional agricultural products by air, serving fresh markets in North America and Europe, and especially the UK. Siesa understands the importance of establishing alliances with partners that support them in fulfilling the quality requirements demanded by the market. Collaboration with all participants in the value chain has been essential in reaching high standards and achieving the goal of market leadership in non-traditional agricultural products.
Flamingo: Through subsidiaries Flamingo Holdings Ltd. is involved in growing, processing, packaging, marketing and distributing cut flowers and vegetables. Flamingo exports flowers and vegetables from Africa and Latin America to the European Union, working with over 2,500 smallholders in Africa and Central America. In Guatemala, for example, Flamingo UK purchases a variety of vegetables to supply major UK supermarkets, processors and markets. Flamingo understands the importance of creating alliances with the main players in the value chain and the support they need to give producers in order to obtain the best possible quality while ensuring good agricultural practices are applied. The processes introduced by Flamingo reduce the level of risk and guarantee the quality of Guatemalan exports. Since Flamingo maintains close contacts with its clients, this international supplier of top supermarket chains knows their needs and can guarantee that Guatemalan vegetables are of superior quality in all respects.
Bayer CropScience Guatemala:
As a facilitator of this production model, Bayer CropScience Guatemala knows full well how important it is to create alliances with companies such as Siesa. After all, they make it possible for market challenges to be tackled together by supporting certification processes and preparing integral solutions that combine Bayer CropSciences experience with the know-how of those involved in the production chain. The targeted products are Guatemalan brands sold to consumers in the worlds most demanding markets.