Press Releases

• August 17, 2010 - Novelle Consulting Launches New Website
• August 16, 2010 - Erich Hinrichs and John Musser Join Novelle Consulting
• August 1, 2006 - Novelle Principal Awarded Presidential Volunteer Service Award
• December 20, 2005- Sonora State, Mexico Completes Phase I of Development Plan
• April 26, 2005 - PMA Addresses Consumption, Industry Trends with Retailers, Growers in Mexico
• April 18, 2005 - Novelle Assists State of Sonora in Five Year Plan
• June 3, 2004 - BC Hot House Chairman Al Vangelos Elected Russian Farm Project's Chairman of the Board

Novelle in the media

• April 22, 2009, The Packer - Vangelos named Produce Man for All Seasons
• April 10, 2006, The Produce News - Novelle Takes on Winogrond and Obregon as Two Senior Principals
• April 6, 2006, FreshPlaza - Novelle Adds Two New Senior Principals; Obregon and Winogrond
• July, 2005, Productores de Hortalizas - Agronegocios en Sonora
• May 1, 2005, The Produce News - Symposium Shines Spotlight on Sonora Agriculture

on the move

Novelle and Food Safety in Southeast Asia
Novelle and the Gates Foundation
Novelle and the World Bank in Malaysia
Novelle in Southern Sudan
Novelle in Georgia
Novelle in Indonesia
Novelle in Egypt
Novelle in Guatemala
Novelle in Central America
Novelle Consulting in Zambia
Novelle Consulting in the Balkans
Novelle's Indonesian Assignment
Novelle in Southern Africa
Novelle in former Soviet Union
Novelle and Work in Colombia
Bananas in Bangladesh
Vegetables in Moldova
Packing Plant in Moldova
Quality Control in Moldova

white papers

Fairtrade
Novelle Consulting and EUREPGAP
Moscow Supermarket Industry
The 5-Year Agricultural Business Development Plan for Sonora, Mexico
Marketing of Horticultural Produce in Asia-From Sonora Symposium

News


Fresh Vegetable Potential in Guatemala

The “altiplano”, or highlands of Central Guatemala have long been recognized as an area with a very high potential for success in the cultivation of fresh vegetables. With fertile soils, cool ambient temperatures in farms that are at 5,000 – 7,000 feet in altitude, and generally adequate sources of water, this area has been exporting snow peas, sugar snap peas, fine French beans, and various types of berries to the U.S. for many years. 
     
However, with the growth in the Central American economy, and the entry of retail giants such as Wal-Mart into the Central American supermarket business, new opportunities arose for the cultivation of vegetable products that would be difficult to export to the U.S. but could find lucrative markets throughout Central America and southern Mexico. Indeed, assisted by the recent free trade agreements in the area, the entire region from as far north as Cancun in Mexico to as far south as San Jose, Costa Rica is becoming a nearly contiguous tourist market, as well as a location with rapidly growing household incomes and disposable incomes.
     
However, to supply both of those markets requires consistent product quality, and when some quickly growing salad greens producers in Guatemala found themselves facing serious postharvest problems, Novelle principal Henry Winogrond was asked to work with the growers to identify solutions for their problems of oxidation and rot. The growers, an organization called Labradores Maya, had grown from small individual producers to one of the largest growers, packers and shippers of lettuce ( including red leaf, green leaf, iceberg, Romaine, and escarole ), celery and broccoli in the region, and Wal-Mart had become their largest customer. However, the available capital for expansion had been invested in irrigation, trucks, and a new packing plant, and no investments had been made in protecting the cold chain.

After spending some time with the growers in their fields, and following the products from harvesting to shipping to the receipt at the customers’ warehouses, it soon became evident that their quality problems were located in two areas. The first was one of basic packing plant sanitation, and several changes were suggested to the group that would significantly lower the potential for bacterial contamination. The other area would require a great deal more time and capital, as it would involve serious investments in achieving appropriate core temperatures of all of their product, and maintaining those temperatures all the way until the product is delivered. Mr. Winogrond developed profiles for three necessary studies that would quantify and justify the required capital investments. The first would be for a tracing of both product and ambient temperatures along the entire product chain, from the fields to the final delivery point. The second would be a specific study for the cooling and cold room storage capacity needed to handle all of the products of Labradores Maya. The third would be a broader based study, analyzing the potential for a large scale vacuum cooler that could handle the production from not only this group but other groups in the area, and would also analyze the possibility of a modern pre-cut salad production operation. This is a unique area in the entire region, and has the opportunity to provide packaged salads to a very large population base over an extended area.
     
Mr. Winogrond presented these proposals to the USAID officials in Guatemala City, and the projects were approved to be done within a few months. These growers have a unique production and marketing opportunity, and only time will tell if they take full advantage of this opportunity.