“We notice that small breeders appreciate the fact that we can prioritize them,” says Dominik Neisser, Technical Support Manager at Vivero Internacional, a Mexican company that specializes in the production of plant cuttings. “As a small company, we are flexible and always on board to try new things.” In this article, Neisser comments on cultivating relationships with small breeders, while navigating the labor and transportation challenges. In the meantime, the company is also improving their connections with brokers and preparing the new introductions for the next season.
Prioritizing small breeders
“Our sales are consistently increasing every year and have been especially strong since the pandemic. We could be doing much more, but we have to catch up as well.” According to Neisser, being a small company is part of what has made their past years so successful. “One big benefit of working with us is the fact that we don’t have our own breeding. Especially small breeders appreciate that, as there is no danger of us taking over or bringing out something similar. As a small company, we are flexible and always on board to try new things. When a small breeder goes to a large company, their variety may not be the top priority. For us, breeders are always at the front of the line. We work with them directly and are excited to bring their varieties to the market.”
Labor and transportation limitations
While the sales are going well, business does not come without its challenges. “It is difficult to get enough labor in Mexico at the moment. We used to have people from other States of Mexico to work during the busy seasons, but the current restrictions are making this difficult. As a result, we are relying on more local workers instead. We hope to be able to provide jobs for out of Morelos State workers again soon and have that as an additional source to fulfill the current labor needs.”
Neisser explains that logistical issues strongly affected them as well. “There haven’t been as many airplanes flying from Mexico City to the US, meaning that there was not enough space for our boxes. We had to look for alternatives, such as trucks, but companies like FedEx were getting overwhelmed as well, and then we had an ice storm in Texas in February on top of that.” Luckily, Neisser is noticing that transportation is picking up again, which is making their shipping much more efficient.
According to Neisser, a big goal for Vivero is to catch up technology-wise in order to improve their connections with broker networks. “We have everything in place for a BtoB computer system connection, that allows brokers to place orders directly. It is currently connected with three of our biggest brokers, and we are hoping to use it for smaller brokers as well. We have noticed that it is more important than we thought, as it creates an increased efficiency. However, there are also challenges involved. A BtoB program like this means that there is less human control involved, and when it comes to these orders, all the numbers need to remain accurate. This is something that is currently one of our major focuses.”
The time for new introductions
At the moment, Vivero is working hard on preparing for the new varieties to be introduced. “We are also starting to plant materials for the upcoming trials, so this definitely keeps us busy. We are excited to bring the new varieties to the market and show everyone their performance in the trials,” adds Neisser.
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