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

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

white paper

The 5-Year Agricultural Business Development Plan for Sonora, Mexico

Revitalize agriculture in Sonora.
By: Danilo Lopez

Governor Eduardo Bours -- the straight-forward mission statement from the new energetic business-oriented governor of the state of Sonora, Mexico. Thus starts the challenging project of Novelle Consulting, LLC in Mexico in 2005.

The Mexican state of Sonora lies adjacent to Arizona and shares a 592-kilometer border with the USA. It serves as a natural gateway for products of western Mexico bound for the USA and Canada entering through Nogales, AZ. Sonora possesses hundreds of microclimates produced by a natural geography that starts at the level of Golfo De California in the west and climbs to the Sierra Madre in the east. From the north Sonora starts at 1,173 meters above sea level then comes down to sea level in the south at the Sinaloa state border. The state stretches 1,052 kilometers. The varied temperatures, amount of rainfall, and types of soil influenced by the low humidity of the desert-like environment provide for a place with low pest pressure and where numerous products can be grown commercially for an extended period of time. A historically well-known state for producing political leaders for Mexico, Sonora has a base of agricultural and industrial entrepreneurs.

With the input of business leaders in the state, a set of strategies was developed:

1. Raise public and business awareness of the mission.

  • A well-attended marketing and production symposium was held in Ciudad Obregon, Sinaloa in April, 2005. It brought together 200 leading growers; major development and agricultural lending banks of Mexico; 30 companies from the USA and Canada; experts in food safety, production and post-harvest handling; import/export/logistics companies, and state and federal officials of Mexico. The event received extensive state and national media coverage lasting the entire week.

2. Create the Sonora Agricultural Advisory Board (SAAB) consisting of 15 leading growers across the state to:

  • Address complex development issues.
  • Build foundation for future leadership.
  • Gain support of the grower community.
  • Provide input to the governor and the secretary of agriculture.
  • Novelle Consulting was appointed as staff to SAAB to provide market, production and logistics research and expertise.

3. Complete a 5-Year Agricultural Business Development Plan working with SAAB, the grower community, the financial institutions, and the state and federal government.

4. Exploit opportunities within the development framework.

  • Nine projects have been immediately identified during the symposium and subsequent follow-up meetings.
  • One large citrus project is on fast track, and a second post-harvest handling project is scheduled for 2006.

5. Build on current Sonora strengths to attract immediate investments and businesses.

  • Sonora has been designated a fruit fly-free zone providing a significant advantage over other producing areas in Mexico and Central America.
  • The state also has a core group of recognized large professional growers/packers/exporters. They will lead the development process and serve as models for the other growers.

6. Pursue long-term projects within framework of broad development objectives.

  • An integrated strategy for Sonora is being developed with the leadership of the governor. It includes development of highway, rail, seaport, airfreight service and border crossing facilities.

Specific grower needs have been identified in Phase I of the 5-Year Agricultural Business Development Plan including investment; R&D and applied technologies; sales, marketing and promotion assistance; and implementation of good agricultural practices and food safety procedures in farming and post-harvest handling. Six product groups have been identified for new or additional development for Sonora - citrus products, greenhouse vegetables, organic products, melons, asparagus and artichoke, strawberry and other berries. Phase II of the plan will include identifying specific sets of strategies and tactics for each of the aforementioned product groups, implementation procedures, and measurement of results versus objectives and milestones.

We believe that this operationally-oriented approach which brings together the grower, academic, government, business and financial sectors may serve as a model for states or small countries in maximizing the benefits of their unique circumstances in agricultural development.

For more information contact:
Danilo Lopez, Novelle Consulting, LLC 
Phone:  (949) 248-9074