Posts Tagged ‘Mexico Supreme Quality


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. ) 


Masters of MCS Awards a success

MSQ's F. Rubio (left) and D. Rojas w/ Fresh Produce Assn.'s Georgina Felix tour vineyards in Sonora.

Our hard-working staffers, Diana Rojas and Faride Rubio, have just returned from a tour of beautiful, MSQ-certified vineyards in Sonora, where they also  presented the 2010 Masters of MCS Awards.

The second year of this awards program was even better received than the first!  Word has gotten around that it provides good exposure for our industry, and recipients have been proud to share the fact that they have been recognized by the Mexico Government and MSQ  in this manner.  Please also check out the good publicity about this event in The Packer, Perishable News and other leading produce industry trades.

The dinner event this year was held at the lovely Vinas De La Costa grape ranch near the Sea of Cortez at sunset, with around 90 in attendance.  Also present, wearing their Ambassador pins, were new MSQ Ambassadors John Pandol (Pandol Bros) and Brian LaForest (Superior).

Here are the 2010 U.S. Masters of MCS award recipients, in no particular order:

CHARLIE’S PRODUCE, Seattle, WA, Master Wholesaler
SUN FED, Nogales, AZ, Master Distributor
MAS MELONS & GRAPES, Nogales, AZ, Master Distributor
SPARTAN FOODS, Grand Rapids, MI, Master Retailer
SUPERVALU, Eden Prairie, MN, Master Retailer/Wholesaler.
Again, our heartfelt congratulations to these award recipients who, despite the most challenging economy in memory, continue to support — and in many cases expand — their procurement and promotion of produce from Mexico.
Be sure to check back soon for future posts where we highlight these recipients and their companies!

Standardization of systems to be soon

Nigel Garbutt, Chairman of GlobalGAP and J.P. Suarez, Chairman of GSFI and GlobalGAP President are working hard to achieve standardization of global certification systems.

The leaders of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and GlobalGAP are hard at work on the standardization of all certification guidelines and protocols used worldwide.  

We at MSQ/MCS of course also take  part in these important discussions, and will continue to do so in the future, especially as the U.S. food safety legislation becomes reality.

This direction will undoubtedly be of great help to all importers, retailers and to confused consumers as well.  Mr. J. P. Suarez, Chairman of the GFSI and GlobalGAP President agrees:  “We will be pleased to make the recognition of food safety programs much easier for retailers, manufacturers and food service operators.”

Mr. Nigel Garbutt, Chairman of GlobalGAP also sees the benefit of this to growers, noting:  “No doubt producers will also benefit from standardization.”

Congratulations to these gentlemen and industry leaders for taking this important step forward!  We will provide more updates soon on this issue.

Warm saludos from Mexico City!

Liz Quintero


Manager’s Welcome Message

Dear Importers & Retail Partners:

We are very pleased to launch yet another season of programs and services for U.S. and Canadian produce receivers! 

This year, we are continuing with some of our previous seasons’ successes, such as our Masters of MCS program.  It awards retail partners who have excelled in procurement and promotion of Mexican produce.  Last season, Safeway, Inc. was the proud retailer recipient, as were three key U.S. importer/distributors.  Perhaps this year it will be YOU?!

We are also pleased to form our brand new MCS Ambassadors program:  a unique opportunity for companies like you to join other industry leaders in an advisory board capacity.  This ensures that we have your valuable input about our programs and services.  With the pending U.S. Food Safety legislation, there has never been a better time for this group, and we do hope you will join us.

We also continue with our effort to meet with food safety personnel in your organizations.  This provides yet another opportunity for your valuable input for our programs.  Importantly, we will keep you apprised of updates about our Certification programs that affect your Mexico imports.   

Opportunities to promote our Seal of Excellence in-store will also be provided to a select group of retailers.  This is your chance to assure consumers that your produce is top quality and meets the most stringent import requirements.

We continue to be be represented at major trade shows and expos in North America and around the world, and want to welcome you to visit our booths wherever we may be.  Also, don’t forget to check this site frequently for important program updates and import tips.

Meantime, if you need any immediate assistance, please contact our U.S. agency directly toll-free at 1-877-281-9305.  Their representatives will plan a visit to personally explain our program to you and your associates.

All the best for the season, and warm “saludos” from Mexico City!

Liz Quintero,  General Manager


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