Alan Winstead, President of Simply Natural Farms, was invited to participate in a round-table discussion of New Businesses in the Agroindustry at the Panama Business Summit 2019 (1ra Cumbre Empresarial CONEP 2019) convened by the prestigious Panama National Council of Private Enterprise (Consejo Nacional de la Empresa Privada Panama) In Panama City on July 24th. The purpose of the conference was to bring together business sector leaders, government authorities and opinion leaders to analyze and address high priority issues facing Panama.
Mr. Winstead provided his unique perspective from developing Simply Natural Farms over the last six years, along with MIDA Minister Augusto Valderrama, who spoke regarding his vision for agriculture over the next five years, and Juan Manuel Henríquez who provided insights regarding sustainable dairy operations.
“It is vital to tackle agricultural innovation from an educational perspective by training our students to operate a farm with technology from an early stage as well as addressing the need to apply modern technology to agribusiness practices through incentives.”, said Mr. Winstead.
“One of the greatest barriers to operational success was finding the human resources capable of handling a modern, industrialized agriculture venture,” said Mr. Winstead. “We shifted that paradigm by creating a new one. A good example is with the Ministry of Education, whereby we cooperatively created a training program for technical students that provides them the opportunity to gain theoretical knowledge and learning by doing. In that way, in four to five years, they will be able to conduct and manage so-called ‘smart’ agriculture technology.”
“We have a long-term vision for our exports because the Panama market of four million is too little. Colombia has fifty million and its producers have a big market and demand. On the other hand, Panama has something that Colombia doesn’t, which is a logistical advantage; a strong export logistics platform. We will continue to be competitive in the local market by implementing cutting-edge technological solutions and developing adequate human capital to do the job,” added Mr. Winstead.
With the motto “We farm for a better world” and the goal of becoming the world’s largest producer of organic fruits and vegetables, Simply Natural Farms is a USDA certified organic and conventional fruit and vegetable company headquartered in Panama City. Simply Natural Farms operates multiple organic plantations in Coclé and Veraguas provinces and exports their produce around the world as well as supplying the local Panamanian market.