Mexican growers benefits of geographic location McAllen (USA) produce terminal market
“Our warehouses allow Mexican growers and shippers to establish themselves as American growers and shippers so they can sell directly to markets north of here,” says Carlos Zambito, marketing director of the McAllen Produce Terminal Market (MPTM). “The warehouses are an incubator for Mexican businesses that are getting started here in the U.S.”
Zambito added, “Earlier this year, Mexico built an east-west highway that goes all the way from the west coast (near Nogales) to the east coast and through Reynosa, Mex. (The Mazatlan-Matamoros corridor), the road is expected to accelerate a shift of Mexican produce trucks entering the United States to Hidalgo County from Nogales, Ariz., for quicker access to East Coast markets.
“For the Mexican produce industry, it’s a no-brainer,” said Richard Sanchez, Mr. Muñoz’s chief of staff. ( State Representative Sergio Muñoz Jr., Democrat of Mission) “They’re going to save about six hours’ travel time coming through South Texas.” “In perishables,” Mr. Zambito said, “every hour counts.”
Geographically, this means our warehouses are perfectly located.” In fact, the MPTM is located right across from the Hidalgo bridge that enters the U.S. Two other bridges are located only five to six mIn 2016, MPTM bought 100,000 square feet of warehouse space. Larger companies are leasing the space they need and it is already beginning to fill up,” says Zambito.
"Our warehouses have created several hundreds of jobs for the residents of McAllen, which allows for the shipping of produce to the U.S.,” shared Zambito. “This area is number one in the country for the number of border crossings from Mexico into the U.S.”
Not only has the MPTM created badly needed jobs; it has also allowed for direct connections between produce shippers and area food banks, which helps in fighting hunger. “The produce that doesn’t sell isn’t wasted or thrown away. It’s donated to these food banks and it’s also a tax break for the shippers as well,” said Zambito.
Local buyers can visit MPTM, buy produce, while 80 percent of the produce that comes to the MPTM is shipped, local buyers (restaurants, home cooks and grocery stores) are able to physically visit the warehouse, find and buy the produce they need. “We have a program where the retirees who come here for the winters are able to come into the warehouse and buy the produce they want at a big savings to their bank accounts,” according to Zambito.
With his new mexican highway, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts will spark a surge in refrigerated trucks entering Hidalgo County, and will set off an economic boom, Mr. Muñoz said.
“It’s just a huge amount of economic development that’s going to occur with the increased traffic,” he said. “It’s not going to be only for South Texas, but it’s going to be increased commerce for the state.”
(photos credit: MPTM, D. Young)