Divine Flavor's Michael DuPuis Discusses Mexico Program Growth
NOGALES, AZ - While in many parts of the United States, we are pulling out our cold weather gear and hunkering down for the winter, in Mexico, produce programs are heating up. With a strong group of grower partners in West Mexico, Divine Flavor is preparing to offer retailers a wide variety of high-quality products to meet shopper demand through the rest of the season.
“Our Mexico growing season kicked off in the Sonora region in October, focusing primarily on our organic squash, melon, and zucchini programs,” says Michael DuPuis, Quality Assurance and Public Relations Manager. “Our melon program will start winding down in the next week or two—we’ll be lucky if we’re able to get into December with the melons, and we’re happy about that. It is a category that we have much experience in, and our Category Manager Elizabeth Smart does a fantastic job overseeing watermelons, our organic minis, cantaloupes, and Honeydews.”
In mid-November, Divine Flavor started growing its organic European and slicer cucumbers and, as the month went on, started producing organic grape tomatoes. As December rolls around, the supplier will get into its pepper program, offering bell and mini peppers.
Looking ahead toward the remainder of the Mexico season, the focus for Divine Flavor will remain on quality offerings and the practices that will enable it to maintain the high product standard that the company prides itself on.
“Produce quality is always our number one priority. When you’re growing, even if you’re growing in a greenhouse under controlled environments, some challenges pop up that you have to manage from the beginning—it’s vital to maintaining quality,”
adds Michael. “That’s a big reason we invest in innovation where we can. In some ways, it allows us to control the weather impacts, start on time, and control quality. Divine Flavor has big customer and retail-ready programs. Luckily, we have the experience to navigate any issues and, as an organic grower, manage the labor needed to produce our offerings.”
On top of quality, Divine Flavor can also offer its buy-side partners convenience and efficiency. Michael explains that the supplier has it set up so that its product can come into the U.S. and go right to the proper cold storage. From there, it is delivered right to its customers in good timing. During the holidays, this is especially important, as punctuality and consistency are vital.
Moving forward, the company will continue to support the needs of its partners by expanding its Central Mexico and South American programs.
“We have been strategically expanding into other areas, whether that pertains to our table grapes coming from South America or our latest project in Jalisco, Mexico,” Michael tells me. “It’s hard to grow organics in Mexico. However, we can produce organics there because our organic growers have the experience and the infrastructure, and they invest quite a bit into their beautiful greenhouses.”
For more updates from Divine Flavor and its Central American program, keep reading AndNowUKnow.