Pharr, Texas – Amid a backdrop of vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables, the Pharr International Bridge held a special event to commemorate the start of the 2018-2019 produce season, celebrating the occasion alongside produce growers, importers, distributors, consumers, dignitaries from Mexico and the United States, and special guest Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.
“Pharr is proud to be the largest land port of entry for fruits and vegetables,” remarked Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D. at the start of the event. “We have invested in our bridge infrastructure, technology, and have worked closely with our partners at the state and federal level to ensure that our port of entry continues to expand capacity and meet the demands of our economy,” he continued. “Produce plays an integral role in our regional and international economy, and here in Pharr we take great pride in being the gateway for these products to enter into the United States and beyond,” he added.
The Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge has evolved into the largest land port for fruits and vegetables in the nation, surpassing Nogales, Arizona as the leading port of entry for Mexican produce and goods. Currently, the Pharr International Bridge crosses more than 60% of all the fresh produce coming from Mexico through Texas land ports of entry.
“The Pharr International Bridge has forged strong partnerships on both sides of the border with distributors, growers, and importers, to ensure that we are meeting the demands of the industry,” said Pharr Bridge Director Luiz Bazan. “There is no slowing down for us, in the next 3-4 years we are expecting to grow significantly.” he continued. “That is why it is important that we keep investing, planning, and working with all our partners as we continue to expand our opportunities.”
Local produce distributor Aquiles Jaime Garza, president of Bebo Distributing, was in attendance at the event and attributed the growth that his company and the local produce industry have experienced to the Pharr International Bridge. “The City of Pharr is doing great things for the city itself and for the bridge,” Garza commented. “It’s really helping our industry,” he added.
The U.S. has consistently remained Mexico’s No. 1 trading partner for produce and goods and Pharr’s ideal geographical location has resulted in not only a great partnership between the two countries, but also in the growth of their produce trading capacity.
“The City of Pharr has done a remarkable job working with the produce industry in Texas and in Mexico as they continue to lead the way as the number one port of entry in Texas,” remarked Commissioner Sid Miller. “The economic impact of the food and fiber sector totals more than $100 billion annually,” he said. “Working together, we have accomplished many great things for the bridge and I look forward to our continued partnership as we plan for future growth and expansion here in Pharr,” he continued.
With Pharr’s produce park nearly filled with cold storage, ripening facilities and more, growth in the produce industry in Pharr is expected to continue at a steady pace.