Family-Owned Agricola Bay's Vision Expands as the Company Grows

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Fri. May 22nd, 2015 - by Jordan Okumura-Wright

HERMOSILLO, SONORA, MEXICO - With a mission of producing high-quality vegetables while also satisfying the needs of their customers, three brothers at Agricola Bay are working to enhance not only their standards of excellence but the range of products in their portfolio as well.

Situated in the fertile soils of Hermosillo and Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, the three brothers Fausto, Bernardo and Lorenzo Bay run their family-owned operation producing seedless watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melons, kabocha squash, zucchini squash, yellow straight neck squash, and grey squash. Agricola Bay is a grower-member for Nogales, Arizona-based SunFed.

Agricola Bay Fields

I visited Lorenzo at his operations in Guaymas earlier this year, to learn about the family’s growing company, plans for the future and vision for the Agricola Bay.

As demand for organic and low residue produce continues to grow, the company is building on its produce program with test fields for organic honeydew and watermelon along with more acreage for organic squash. On top of that initiative, the Bays are also looking to expand their overall program from 250 acres to 750 over the next three years. 

Growth for Bernardo, Lorenzo, and Fausto has been driven by the growing demand for labels such as SunFed’s Perfect Produce brands as well as their own Agricola Bay label.

In addition to growing the company, Agricola Bay has also been committed to providing socially responsible employment, promoting the development of its staff, while also meeting its fiscal obligations and contributing to the growing Mexican produce industry. 

“Companies are forced to be competitive in order to retain their skilled labor force.  For us, that means taking care of our workers through constant enhancements in our housing programs to offering competitive wages and benefits,” Lorenzo tells me.

From left to right: Fausto Bay, Agricola Bay, and Mark Cassius, CIO, SunFed

“You can’t just be a good grower, you must be a great administrator as well,” he says. “Here, our workers don’t pay for anything so that everything can go back home to their families if that is what they want.”

In addition to their own personal values and standards that steer Agricola Bay, the growers are also nationally and internationally certified for food safety and social measures from organizations such as Primus G.F.S, Global G.A.P., USDA Organic, and C–TPAT  to Global Security Verification (GSV) and HACCP verification. 

Most recently, Agricola Bays became Fair Trade Certified on its entire produce program.

Congratulations, Lorenzo, Bernardo, and Fausto, on the work achieved the growth ahead.

Agrícola Bay