The New Mexico Chile Association (NMCA) and Western Growers (WG) have announced a strategic collaboration between their respective associations. The two groups have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that allows them to coordinate on business matters and policy issues of mutual interest. Additionally, the MOU gives New Mexico chile growers access to a host of WG member benefits, such as informational webinars, H-2A labor services, transportation services and expertise in trade and commodity services.
“In entering this partnership, we are motivated by Western Growers’ focus on the federal policy issues that uniquely impact fresh produce growers in the west,” said NMCA President Rick Ledbetter. “The New Mexico chile industry deals with many of the same challenges as our counterparts in other western states, including trade, food safety, water, immigration and labor. We are confident that the reputation of Western Growers and the expertise of their staff based in California and Washington, D.C., will generate significant benefit and value for our members.”
Under the terms of the agreement, all NMCA members that grow, distribute, or manufacture fresh chile will become members of Western Growers and have access to select services. The agreement does not include New Mexico state advocacy or other state activities.
“New Mexico chile are an iconic symbol of the produce industry and we are privileged to formalize the relationship between our two associations,” said WG President and CEO Tom Nassif. “Western Growers has long advocated for the needs of fresh produce growers, shippers and processors in California and Arizona, and, more recently, Colorado. Today, we are proud to add New Mexico chile growers to our ranks, and look forward to working together to resolve the pressing concerns facing western agriculture.”
The two associations will also promote the partnership to their respective memberships and explore additional opportunities for collaboration as the relationship develops.