One of the most important elements of a country like Mexico is its agricultural production, that is, what is produced in the countryside. That is why today we will talk about a very important topic for the productive system: agribusiness in Mexico.
But before going into the subject in depth, it is essential to answer the following question:
What is agroindustry?
Agroindustry in Mexico is the industry that deals with the supply, processing and distribution of agricultural products. It is related to the production, processing and packaging of food on a large scale, using modern equipment and methods.
Agribusiness is divided into two activities. On the one hand, food, which deals with the transformation of products from agriculture, livestock, fisheries, forestry resources, among others, into products for consumption; and on the other hand, non-food deals with the transformation of raw materials, using their natural resources for the production of different products.
When talking about agroindustry in Mexico, another question may arise: what is the difference between industry and agroindustry?
Differences between agribusiness and industry
On the one hand, industry is the set of activities that are carried out for the production of goods and/or services to receive economic compensation; while agroindustry is the economic branch that is dedicated to the production of goods of natural origin; either as products for human consumption or in other variants such as textiles, field products, household, etc.
Characteristics of agribusiness
To better understand agribusiness in Mexico, it is essential to know a little more about the components that are part of this activity. We must begin by saying that its main characteristic is nature, which is the main element with which it works.
And it is precisely nature that brings with it another of the characteristics of agribusiness in Mexico: it tends to have a varied projection, since it is impossible to know what the weather conditions will be in several months.
In addition, processes tend to be very rigid, since harvests can only be made in specific seasons; therefore, a symmetrical work flow cannot be maintained throughout the year.
What are the types of agribusiness?
Like all industries, agribusiness in Mexico has its specific branches. This means that there are sectors that specialize in one part of the overall process that is carried out.
This is why we will explain what each one consists of.
Food Agroindustry: it is in charge of transforming agricultural, livestock, fishery and forestry products, and everything extracted from nature, into products that serve as food.
Non-food agroindustry: is the one that combines natural raw materials with synthetic materials to produce non-food products.
Raw material suppliers: are all those involved in the initial processing of raw materials, such as sowing, harvesting, milling, tanning, among others.
Agro-industry based on the consumption of raw materials: here we refer to all manufacturers of intermediate products made from natural products, such as textiles, footwear, rubber, etc.
Artisanal agroindustry: the artisanal agroindustry includes an artisanal and manual process, which produces foods such as sweets, mezcals, tequila, pulque, among others.
Contribution of agribusiness in Mexico
Agribusiness in Mexico plays an important role in the country’s economy; since value-added agriculture represents 3.46 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (2019 data from the World Bank); but more than that, it means a way of life.
Since the agrarian distribution that took place after the Mexican Revolution, agribusiness in Mexico became a way of giving self-sufficiency to millions of people who lived in the countryside; something that over the years was including machinery, more sophisticated processes and productive diversification.
But today it continues to offer results that help the country’s economy. It is enough to see that, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mexico’s agricultural and agribusiness balance registered a surplus of 708 million dollars, 116 million dollars more than in January of the previous year.
To a large extent, this makes Mexico a great place for companies in the primary sector to explore all the possibilities offered by all types of agribusiness in the country.
Agroindustrial panorama in Mexico: the case of Citrofrut
As mentioned above, the term agroindustry refers to the industry that is responsible for the supply, processing and distribution of agricultural products; but which are the agroindustrial companies?
There are many, since all those that have contact in the production process with agricultural products fall into this category. Agricultural companies include Lala, Ragasa, Nestlé, Danone, Citrofrut, among many others.
However, to explain the phenomenon of agribusiness in Mexico, we will stop to analyze a little the case of our company, Citrofrut.
Citrofrut is an agro-industrial company with more than 60 years in the market, characterized by producing quality fruit juices. We produce fresh and processed fruit products, offering reliable and innovative solutions through a sustainable operation from farm to market.
And we can say that it is the clear example of agribusiness in Mexico; because about 20 percent of the processed fruit used comes from our own plantations; in addition to the fact that production is sustainable, since the essential oils of the fruits are recovered for the production of other derivative products.
We emphasize this case for its diversification of contents, because, although the main production is for food consumption, there are also other ramifications. Below are some examples of some of our diverse products:
Cold Pressed Oils (CPO).
The oil sacs found in the skin of the fruit are broken during the extraction process. Thus, the oil is obtained when the oil is separated from the water-oil emulsion using a centrifuge. In the final result, the color of the oil varies according to the color of the fruit skin.
Cold-pressed oils are used in flavoring applications, beverages, fruit nectar and fragrances, which shows the relevance of Citrofrut in all types of agribusiness in Mexico.
Also known as the oily phase, this is obtained during the evaporation of the juice. The volatile components are recovered and separated into two: the oily phase and the aqueous phase. The essential oil has a light color.
The essential oil is commonly used in the preparation of supplements or flavor packs for the juice and beverage industry; a key sector for the agribusiness in Mexico, for which Citrofrut is one of the main suppliers of essential oils in Mexico.
After the juice extraction process; the peel and the inner part of the fruit are sent to a press to remove all remaining oil and moisture. The pressed liquor is sent to Waste Heat equipment for concentration and molasses formation, and by distillation the D’limonene is recovered.
D’limonene is used in health care products and also in the chemical industry as an active ingredient in cleaning products or in many other odor masking products. It is therefore essential in the agro-industrial sector in Mexico.
After the extraction process, the peel is sent to a press to remove the oil and juice residues, then the peel is cut into small pieces, washed, dried and packaged in sacks and used for fruit nectar products.
The washed peel is used in the food industry to obtain pectin, which serves as a gelling agent in jams and jellies. Pectin is also added to dessert and candy fillings, used as a stabilizer in fruit juices and as a source of dietary fiber, representing one of the trends in the agroindustrial sector.
After having analyzed the agroindustry in Mexico, it is clear that it is an important lever for the development of the country, since it not only represents a significant proportion of the Gross Domestic Product, but also constitutes a way of life for all those who are immersed in this process.
And as we have seen in the case of Citrofrut, the characteristics of agribusiness can be used to the maximum to have sustainable procedures and always offer the best products.