Enrique Hernández-Pons
Ceo
Aires de Campo
/
View from the Top

Bureaucracy Obstacles for Organic Food Market

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 11:20

Q: What conditions allowed for the creation of Aires de Campo?
A: Aires de Campo was founded in 2001, a time when national organic products were exported mainly to the US since there was no such market in Mexico. The original idea was to create a market for organic products to promote a healthy diet, a responsible carbon footprint and strengthen the value chain of organic production. During the past five years, our sales have grown continuously as more and more people show an interest in consuming organic products.
Q: How do products from Aires de Campo differ from others in the market and what is the company’s differentiating factor?
A: The main distinction is between organic and non-organic products. Aires de Campo’s products are free of chemicals, agrochemicals and pesticides, they are non-transgenic and are only irrigated by seasonal waters to avoid contaminating aquifers. The company guarantees that its chickens and eggs do not contain antibiotics, vaccines or hormones, while our organic protocols help our customers feel safe about the quality of our products.
Q: How does Aires de Campo ensure the organic element is maintained throughout the entire value chain?
A: Aires de Campo supports the collaborators in its value chain. The company has more than 80 producers working under the Aires de Campo brand. In the area of agriculture, the company provides farmers with seed capital, as well as support through certifications, advice, counseling for obtaining public funds and more. Aires de Campo is involved in the entire process to guarantee the successful production of norm-regulated organic products and to ensure farmers their products will be purchased. In this way, the company helps relieve the economic burden on farmers and facilitates the continuation of agricultural production.
Q: What advantages and limitations exist in the Mexican market for organic products?
A: About 40 percent of the Mexican population lives in poverty and 10 percent lives in extreme poverty. These socioeconomic conditions hamper the commercialization of organic products in the country because these tend to be priced higher than non-organic products due to the cost of production. The yield in animal protein production, for example, is lower because it is only possible to place six chickens per square meter compared to the 28 chickens that can be placed by non-organic producers. However, the price, considering its high added value, is not really the problem; the problem is the lack of accessibility caused by socioeconomic differences in Mexico. Aires de Campo is working to reduce this gap by improving production efficiencies to reduce costs and offer better quality.
To improve the organic market in Mexico there must also be changes in bureaucratic processes to make it easier for farmers to obtain funds. Norms related to organic products also should be strengthened through the creation of a regulatory body to ensure greater coordination between SAGARPA, COFEPRIS and PROFECO.  
Q: What are Aires de Campo’s expansion plans?
A: Aires de Campo’s philosophy is to commercialize national organic products in Mexico. Today, approximately 70 percent of Aires de Campo’s sales are concentrated in Mexico City and the rest is distributed in states such as Jalisco, Nuevo Leon and Queretaro. We want to consolidate Aires de Campo in Guadalajara and Monterrey and are looking for opportunities in areas like the Bajio region, where we see the possibility of having a strong presence.
Our goal is to continue growing until Aires de Campo is positioned as a company of relevant size in the food industry and as the leader in the organic foods market. In the past five years, we have multiplied our sales fivefold. Now, our objective is to strengthen our products’ presence in middle and lower-income homes, as well as to continue innovating with trendy products for our customers.

Aires de Campo is the first distribution and marketing company for organic foods in Mexico. It was founded in 2001 as a producer and distributor of organic and natural products in Mexico, Monterrey, Guadalajara and Cancun, among others