Hi my name is Raul Arcos Lozano, and I am the General Manager and owner of Grupo Palenque. Here in Mexico we grow organic mangos .. thanks for buying our products.
Grupo Palenque’s history dates back to 1980s. I always wanted to grow fruits and vegetables and I knew Oaxaca was a renowned mango growing region here in Mexico. I therefore decided to work and live in Oaxaca in order to raise the necessary money and knowledge to buy a proper sized mango orchard. Fortunately for me this was already the case in 1983 and I bought the “El Palenque” orchard from the previous owner. I love that name so I decided to keep it. Years passed and I was able to acquire more and more orchards, but none of them could be compared to Palenque. Palenque has been a symbol of inspiration and hope for me since day one, hence I decided to name my exporting company after my orchard: Grupo Palenque. Fortunately for me, two of my sons decided to join me on this journey, and I am very happy to teach them my mango expertise as much as I can.
Our packing houses and orchards are located in zones were poverty levels are high. Therefore, it is our commitment to hire people from these communities as much as we can. By doing so, we are helping to build these areas economically.
Can you tell something about the region where your farm is located?
My orchards are located near the border between Chiapas and Oaxaca, close to a municipality called San Pedro Tapanatepec. The climate here is warm sub-humid, with some rains in summer. Conditions here are optimal to grow mangos, and that is why I picked this place in particular to start my business.
Why and when did you go organic?
I decided to become an organic grower in 2011. One of the reasons why I decided to do so, was to stay competitive in the market. As years passed, I understood there are more benefits to look for when you are growing mangos organically.
What do you see as the benefits of organic farming now?
The benefits of being organic are numerous. Besides adding value to my products, it helps to prevent a loss of topsoil, toxic runoff, water pollution, soil contamination, soil poisoning, as well as preventing the death of insects, birds, critters and other beneficial soil organisms.
What do you like most about your work?
I love being in the orchards. That is my passion. Every day, I drive to each one of the orchards and I make sure everything is being taken care of. Fortunately for me, I work with committed people just like I am. Our love for mangos makes it easier for me and my staff to work in coordinating daily packing house and orchard activities.
Do you have any special plans for the (sustainable) future that you can tell us about?
Yes, this year we decided to increase our organic production, thus we started changing all of our conventional orchards to organic orchards. In addition, we will keep on working with our current photovoltaic cell system, which is currently installed in Oaxaca and Nayarit.