"Ever since I was a little boy, my dad took me to the greenhouses where he worked. From a very young age I knew everything about growing tomatoes: the planting, the seedlings, taking care of the growth, and picking them," says Quentin Gomis. He has just been hired as the new commercial manager for Biogrow Substrates in Mexico and, together with their local partner Toyo Kasei, will help this market grow. “I have always believed the future of agriculture should be sustainable, and now it’s the turn of my generation to help move the industry even more in that direction,” he says.
Quentin has noticed that this movement is already going on in Mexico. “Little by little, farmers and growers are changing their ways. The world is changing and consumers are becoming more and more demanding with regard to ecologically responsible products. It’s a big challenge for growers to change their ways of working and the transition to becoming sustainable can also be a synonym of “big investment."
However, growing in a more sustainable way also presents the growers with many advantages. “We see an ever-increasing interest in hydroponic growing, which is in large part due to growers noticing that they can produce up to three times more when using coco peat substrate compared to growing the conventional way.”
Growing demand, growing supply
A growing demand for substrate also means a growing supply, Quentin has noticed. “About 5 years ago, there were only a few coco peat substrate brands, now there must be around 20. So, we could say it is a crowded market and competition is tough, nonetheless, there are always gaps to fill as agricultural techniques are constantly evolving.” New techniques and equipment are what growers are looking for and that is where Biogrow comes in. Quentin will strengthen the service and technical support the company offers to their Mexican customers. “Growers from all over the world are now looking for solutions to help them respond to this growing demand for planet-friendly food. At Biogrow we produce substrates that come from a sustainable resource and respect the environment. At the same time, we accompany our customers all the way through the process from technical support to the delivery at the doors of the greenhouse. This includes a dedicated technical support and logistics team, on-time deliveries and of course maintaining the same substrate quality and efficiency year on year.”
Quentin is well aware of the challenges and opportunities that growers face. “We give around-the-clock technical support to our customers and we know from first-hand experience what is required to optimize yield and productivity. At Biogrow, we are not only selling coco-based substrates, we are also growers working for growers,” he says, referring to the cooperative that forms the base of the company. “In France, where our head office is located, our primary activity for decades has been growing fruit and vegetables. It’s thanks to this long-established growing experience that we’ve been able to develop our substrate range over the last 25 years."
“Ultimately, we want to build on the solid base we already have here in Mexico, strengthen the link to our customers and accompany them over the years to come, so that they can grow better and more sustainably. A win/win situation for everyone involved,” he concludes. “It really is an exciting time to be part of this industry and see all the positive changes that are happening, especially regarding the industry-wide drive towards sustainability.”
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