Friday, May 1, 2015

HEB right now is running a great commercial which supports an idea I have been pushing for years.  The City of Brownsville needs to create its own Import Corporation for importation of perishables from South American. The HEB commercial talks about the millions of flowers it imports from Columbia.

Here is an excerpt from an article related to HEB and San Antonio.

"Have you ever wondered where the cut flowers that you are about to buy for Mother’s Day come from?  If you are like approximately 75% of the people that buy packaged cut flowers in San Antonio, your Mother’s Day flowers will come from HEB.  However, HEB doesn’t grow those flowers.  HEB buys most of their cut flowers from growers in Columbia.  In fact, most of the cut flowers sold in the US are now imported. "

Click for entire article

This is not hard.  Texas is a huge market.  Brownsville to its credit is ready with a major transportation distribution center - barge, rail and trucking.  By hiring someone like Tony Garza in months we can have planes landing in Brownsville with perishables from South America.  Our airport is already approved and equipped for such imports.

From another more current article:

"Colombia is one of the world’s foremost producers of flowers, exporting $1 billion per year and growing. In 2013, 65 percent of all cut flowers imported into the U.S. were from Colombia, up from 55 percent a decade earlier. Exotic species of orchid, anthurium, and bird of paradise are all regularly shipped to the U.S. But the ubiquitous rose is, by far, the country’s biggest flower seller"

Click for article

Years ago to promote the industry the US stopped all import taxes on the flowers to encourage farmers to go from growing coca leaves to growing flowers.


I do not care if it is our bay or the Great South Bay between Long Island and Fire Island - these bays can be shallow at times.  There is a high demand for boats designed for shallow bays.  Why can the leaders at the port not think outside the box of polluters and work to recruit a manufacturer of boats for shallow bays?  Our port if the perfect location.  The demand for these type boats goes from Brownsville to the tip of Florida.  This is possible with robotics manufacturing.



Anonymous said...

Why Brownsville on the cut flowers instead of Houston (or Dallas or San Antonio)? No doubt they have the infrastructure at the airport to support it and they are much closer to the centers of population. Fly 30min-45 minutes longer and save hours of trucking. I don't get it.
I am heartily in support of clean industry but shallow water boat manufacturing isn't it. There are at least two manufacturers of shallow water sports boats in the Valley and this is true all along the Gulf coast. They tend to be regional and designed for specific local conditions for example, there is a noted difference in the favored designs between shallow water craft in the Valley and the Port Aransas area.
If they are halfway well made they generally become the local favorite. The exceptions tend to be bipolar. Low end/low price boats that are decently designed but corners are cut in materials and manufacturing to keep the price down and high end boats, the best being made of fairly exotic and very expensive composites. The high end boats are very expensive and mostly made in Florida. These boats are so well designed and so well made that they are popular all along the coast but most people can not afford them and you don't see many of them. The lower priced boats are often seem because they are affordable but most of them have kinda come in via the back door. Large companies buy out a well known, well respected brand and dumb it down in terms of material and quality of finishing and sell it for less money. People buy them on the reputation of the original maker but they are not getting the same boat. They may be getting good value but it is not the boat they think it is going to be. So, unless you can build a boat under a well known brand at a low price you are not going to get past the regionalism. Now, you can make a high end boat but you are not going to sell enough of them to bring much money to town because it is just not going to a very big factory.
Just saying.

BobbyWC said...

Thanks for the comment. You may not know but the state previously authorized funding to help develop Brownsville's airport for perishable air cargo from South America

It's not just location - in particular with the flowers they have to be able to process them fast. Columbia and Ecuador have complained they have lost flowers by cutting them too soon for fear they will blossom while waiting customs in Miami and LA.

This is why Brownsville was looked at because we are already set up to receive the cargo and it can be processed faster than in any of the other airports - there is no competition in terms of waiting for other cargo to be processed.

Peru has complained endlessly to the US that its production is down because the US does not have enough port of entries which can timely handle the cargo.

This is what makes Brownsville unique

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...


Not directly related to the above but another example of how the city fathers have blinders on. Once again, it's Mcallen leading the way. If the city doesn't get on this golden opportunity, I have no doubt Mcallen will do whatever is necessary to capture the market on flowers, etc from South America.

BobbyWC said...

My only shocker will be if McAllen does not do it.

Brownsville simply has no interest in the project

Bobby wc