2019 Latin America Winner

Quimical SA de CV - Maneadero, Mexico

The company encourages farmers to gain Empresa Socialmente Responsable (ESR) badges.

The states of Baja California and Baja California Sur in northwest Mexico exemplify the country’s geographical disparities. Rich soil here, poor soil there. Surplus water in some parts, drought in others. In turn, trying to facilitate the region’s agricultural industry can be difficult, but Quimical SA de CV has managed to do exactly that for more than a half-century.

“Our area of ​​action is characterized by a great diversity of climates, soils, and different offerings of natural resources,” Rodrigo Torres, Operations Coordinator with Quimical, says. Three distinct regions are present, he notes, “each with special conditions of its own.”

The desert area of ​​the Mexicali Valley nonetheless enjoys abundant water due to Mexico’s rights to 1,860 million cubic meters of the Colorado River.

The coastal area of Baja California is an extension of 300 kilometers that borders the Pacific Ocean on one side and a tall mountain range on the other, creating a series of “agriculturally interesting microclimates,” Torres says, although with a great limitation of water.

The northern part of Baja California Sur includes a valley that boasts a special climate with good water and other characteristics that allow for different growing dates from those of the other two areas.

How does Quimical differentiate its clients and their difficulties?

Quimical releases insects to benefit local wildlife as part of control programs.

With soil, farmers face the challenge of rotating their land, Torres says, while seeking to alternate crops to provide organic matter to the soil. “We have decided to place emphasis on the management of organic matter since it is extremely important in almost all aspects of soil quality,” he says. “We have made available our high-tech agricultural laboratory for research and development of organic matter.”

Farmers also have the task of using water efficiently, due to the almost permanent drought in the region in which Quimical operates. “We collaborate with them, supplying seed varieties with low water requirements and products that help improve the perspiration of the plant,” Torres says. Farmers with greater economic power have started operating their own desalination plants to be able to supply their demand and not use or run out of groundwater. “We have served as intermediaries between the farmer and the manufacturers of desalination plants, with the sole intention of supporting the farmer to have enough water to meet his needs and thereby be able to produce food for the country and the world.”

Another important challenge for farmers, Torres says, is the transparent handling of chemical containers and wastes. “We have played an important part in the construction, handling, and operation of the empty container storage centers,” he says.

To improve the environmental conditions of its coverage area and the planet as a whole, Quimical this year created a Chemical Environmental Pact, which aims to serve as a guide for the preservation and improvement of biodiversity. “We want to be an example to follow in everyday activities that contemplate the concepts of sustainability applied toward efficient practices of producing, working, consuming, and living,” Torres says.