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09
May
14

First meeting of Ambassadors

Ambassadors (l) John Pandol, Brian LaForest, Gale Prince, Martin Ley, with counsel "Kip" Martin, meet in Nogales

The first meeting of our newly-formed group of U.S.-based MCS Ambassadors took place on a relevant historical day.  It was the same day Mexico President Calderon was visiting the White House… 

Our small group, however, did not include diplomats or politicians.  Rather, it consisted of produce industry experts committed to helping us communicate the MSQ message:  our own Ambassadors  (Read more about them on our April 1 post, below).  This group may be small in size, but certainly not in thinking! 

In a three-hour session held at the beautiful headquarters of Del Campo (Ley Group) in Nogales,  AZ, Gale Prince (former food safety director at The Kroger Cos., Martin Ley (Del Campo), John Pandol (Pandol Bros.), and Brian LaForest (Superior), exchanged ideas and engaged in lively discussion.    Ambassador Enrique Diaz (Diazteca) unfortunately could not join us due to pressing business. 

Also present was Robert (Kip) Martin, an attorney with focus on agricultural law.  His clients include several of the more than 100 produce importers/distributors on the Nogales border.  Mr. Martin’s insight and guidance on what an advisory board can or cannot do under U.S. antitrust laws was invaluable, as well as his ability to keep the group on-point during discussions. 

Discussions ranged from the status of the pending  U.S. food safety legislation to the challenges of communicating the superior Mexico food safety standards to the North American marketplace…and much in between.   Specific program recommendations are being drafted now for submission to MSQ staff for review. 

As our gracious host, Ambassador Ley, put it:  “Mexico has arguably the most stringent food safety guidelines in the world.  Problem is, few know this.  By being involved in work groups such as this, we can share this information to the ultimate benefit of the consumer.” 

It is exactly the willingness of this group to help with this outreach — to influence others into understanding the program and its benefits —  that is of so much value to us.   These industry leaders are very busy running their companies, so their time is valuable.  

We thank each and every one for their dedication to MSQ/MCS! 

(Important note:  The MCS Ambassadors are planning to meet again in late summer.  Please let us know if you have any issue of specific interest to your operations you wish them to discuss and advise on. ) 

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