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Diazteca enters organic mango business

Diazteca will be offering a substantial volume of organic mangos this summer.

Rod Diaz, marketing director of the firm, which is headquartered in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, said the firm will be shipping organic Tommy Atkins, Atualfo, Kent and Keitt varieties from May until the end of August.

To become Primus-certified to U.S. Department of Agriculture organic standards, over the last three years Diazteca transitioned once-conventional mango groves to organic standards.Rod-Diaz-mangoRod Diaz, marketing director of Diazteca.

“We quit using agrochemicals in mango fields for three years, instead using organic operations,” he said. “We recorded our utilization of organic fertilizers and all applications.”

After a final audit and 30 days to make final adjustments, Diazteca was qualified for the organic business. These organic groves are in southern Sinaloa.

Diazteca’s major mango packinghouse is in Escuinapa, which sits at the extreme southern end of Sinaloa. The Escuinapa operation packs 4 million cases of mangos a year. This year, 1.5 million of that volume will be organic and entirely Diazteca’s, and the remaining volume will come from the firm’s grower-partners.

Diazteca has been growing on 2,000 acres of mangos in Escuinapa, but that acreage expanded with 230 new acres in Oaxaca in 2016. The first harvest from the young Atualfo and Tommy Atkins plantings will come in 2018.

Diaz said that the southern Sinaloa deal ends about Sept. 7.

Beyond Sinaloa, Diazteca also grows and packs in both Oaxaca and Michoacán. “We don’t own the facilities” for packing in those two states, said Diaz.

Michoacán started shipping in mid-March and will hit good volume of Tommy Atkins and Atualfo around April 20, Diaz said April 4. Hitting the market just in time for the Cinco de Mayo holiday, the round mangos will mostly be sizes 9, 10 and 12.

To extend its summer season — and dodge potentially harmful rainfall — Diazteca is also involved in packing in Los Mochis in the first half of September. Packer Roberto Cuadras in Los Mochis packs Diazteca’s late mangos.

Diaz said his 2017 crop is very similar to 2016. The U.S. market absorbs 95 percent of Diazteca’s mango volume. The Canadian market was added to the firm’s program two years ago.  

In mid-April Diazteca planned to begin exporting to Rotterdam and Hamburg. The firm can use flights out of Mexico City and Cancun. Also available is the 18- to 21-day ocean freight service to northern Europe from Veracruz.

In a new business venture to reach the Yokohama, Japan, market by sea, Diazteca ships from the port of Manzanillo. That is a more-efficient nine- to 12-day connection.

Diaz said his mango packaging capabilities, growth and uncertainty over the outlook of the North American Free Trade Agreement are among his motivations to develop these offshore markets.

Diazteca also is a pineapple grower in Veracruz.