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Farmer's Best receives top honor

Agricola Tarriba in Culiacan, Sinaloa, the Mexican sister company of Farmers Best International in Nogales, AZ, was recently named Exporter of the Year by Mexican President Vincente Fox.

General Director Ivan Tarriba Haza accepted the award on behalf of Agricola Tarriba.

In a ceremony held in Mexico City in early December, President Fox presented Agricola Tarriba with the highest honor awarded to Mexican companies that have exhibited strength, ingenuity and strong business practices in reaching key export markets. Companies awarded this honor are seen as an example for the rest of Mexico in reaching and expanding business opportunities abroad, according to a Dec. 30 press release from Farmers Best.

In recognition of the contribution of employees to a companys success, President Fox also presented a separate award acknowledging the efforts of the workers at Agricola Tarriba, the release stated. Benito Sainz Rodriguez, head of production at Agricola Tarriba, accepted the award on behalf of the companys employees.

The company was selected by a panel of 70 experts in various aspects of business from among 200 produce export companies being considered for the honor, Leonardo Tarriba, general manager of Farmers Best in Nogales, told The Produce News in a telephone interview. It is the most significant award the Mexican government can give to a company. Similar awards are given in other industry sectors, he said.

The press release quoted Mr. Tarriba as saying, At Farmers Best, we believe we should always do the best job we can, and [we believe] that our people are very integral to our success. Both of these awards are a result of our commitment to doing the best in every aspect of our business. The company believes that it has a responsibility to provide more than just jobs for our workers so that the workers and their families can be healthy, productive members of society. We provide housing, education for both the workers and their families, day care centers and medical assistance to our community.

The release also quoted Jerry Wagner, sales manager for the companys Nogales office, as saying, We are honored that our efforts have been recognized on a national level as Exporter of the Year. Since the company was founded in the 1960s, Farmers Best has been committed to exceeding the expectations of our customers by providing high quality, safe fruits and vegetables grown with the greatest care and commitment to the land and our amazing workforce.

Being selected exporter of the year is an extensive process, the press release stated. A company must first submit a detailed report outlining [its] business practices. These initial submissions are evaluated, and a few are chosen for the next level of scrutiny: on-site audits to document and verify the companys operations. A final independent committee reviews each companys packed and on-site reviews and selects the finalist for the award.

From our perspective _ were really proud of Farmers for the recognition the company has received, Allison Moore of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas in Nogales told The Produce News in a telephone interview. We always felt that they do a really great job, and to receive recognition for that from the president of Mexico is a really big deal.

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