Sara Hermida: Organic Market of San José del Cabo

The Organic Market of San José del Cabo is a non-profit organization founded 14 years ago by a group of individuals who saw the potential of the market – the perfect place to inform, implement and inspire an organic movement. The Organic Market was born; a place where local farmers and vendors could meet every Saturday and offer their products to the local community. The Organic Market continues to grow and gain importance as it is a centre for community interaction and cultural exchange.

The food sold at the Organic Market is produced and certified via Participatory Organic Verification. This process uses the guidelines indicated by SAGARPA (Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganaderia, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación) and SENASICA (Service Nacional de Sanidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria). It requires a visit from a government representative to the farm to inspect the farms’ operations. The representative decides whether the operations comply with the official recommendations. Only 11 out of the 23 farms have been able to afford the complete official certification. Obtaining complete certification not only gives more credibility to their products, but it also gives farmers the opportunity to learn the best farming and production practices for organic produce.

As a volunteer, Sara was in charged of assuring that the farmers who have the full certification followed the recommendations given by the government. In addition, Sara served as a liaison booking visits and ensuring that any questions from the farmers about certification guidelines were answered. In the near future, the Organic Market hopes to be fully certified and it aims to send a member of the community to become a SAGARPA and SENASICA certifier. This will reduce the costs of the certification for other farmers and will benefit the farmers as they will have a point of contact in the municipality.

John Graham (President), Carrie Ann Palmieri (Associate), Fabiola Rodriguez (Program Director), Axel Gutiérrez (Manager) Vicky Pérez (Director) y Horacio Sobarzo (SAGARPA & SENASICA)