It all begins with our growers. 

Rico Farms

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Francisco Tapia
Senior & Junior

Hermosillo, Mexico

Several Varieties of
Organic Row Crops

Francisco Tapia, Sr. started farming at Campo San Luis over 30 years ago, just as his son Francisco Tapia, Jr. was born.  He began experimenting with using garlic as a repellent, seaweed as a fertilizer, and vinegar as an herbicide, and quickly knew that he could produce better crops using organic methods.

Both Francisco Tapia, Sr. and Junior are trained as engineers and these skills have been put to use building a highly efficient and productive organic farm with the quality to ship throughout North America. They work together to produce an incredible bounty of certified organic zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, melons, green beans, eggplant, jalapeños  and many varieties of delicious winter squash which are all packed under the Rico Farms label.

The farm is situated just inland from the Sea of Cortez, which helps moderate the extreme temperatures in the area. They manage approximately 4,000 acres of land, but 90% of that area is left in its natural state for wildlife to enjoy. This nature preserve is vital to the farm because it provides a buffer zone from the pests and diseases that might spread from other farms and serves as a large watershed to replenish the two deep wells.

The Tapia family also cares deeply for the welfare of their workers which inspired them to become a Fair Trade Certified Producer.  Since their certification in November of 2013 Rico Farms has created a Fair Trade committee that is in charge of allocating and executing projects based of the wants and needs of the workers. The first major project the workers wanted executed with their Fair Trade Funds was to improve on their current healthcare offerings by creating a fully functional onsite health clinic. In addition to the clinic facilities they hired a farm doctor who is on location twice a week and on call for emergencies.

Another project the workers were particularly excited about was the upgrading of their recreational facilities. Funds allowed them to upgrade their soccer field and volleyball courts and add basketball hoops.  Competing as teams provides a sense of community for the workers while at the farm.

The funds are also being used to purchase busses for transportation to town and for making new rest areas.  Additional projects that are being discussed for the future include air conditioning or fans for the bedrooms, hot water showers, kindergarten, school facilities with computers and an entertainment area.

In addition to the Fair Trade Funds the Tapia Family also understands the importance of investing in their workers. They recently purchased new beds for the workers out of farm funds so that the Fair Trade funds could be used on other projects. They are also making improvements to the lunch/dining facility, expanding the worker housing, making improvements to old housing and constructing new housing forpermanent, year round workers.

The dedication the Tapia family has for their produce, land, workers and the environment is apparent in everything they do and in their constant pursuit for excellence.