Thursday, April 3, 2008

Our last leg of a long journey—Mexico City

We made it to Mexico City on Tuesday evening—barely.

The plan was to fly from San Jose Costa Rica to Houston, Texas, and then back to Mexico City, Mexico. In theory, we had plenty of time to make it through customs and border control in Houston. In reality, we barely made the plane before they closed the jetway door.

All is well, though. Our group held up the plane long enough for everyone to board, and we took off and made it to Mexico City without a further hitch.

Well, there was the issue of a missing suitcase for Steve Mercer, but luckily it found its way to the hotel before our morning meetings. And, sure, I picked up a nasty hacking cough in Costa Rica, but it's nothing a little cough syrup can't take care of.

All are minor details in the grand scheme of things! Mexico City is unlike anything I've ever experienced. It's 22 million people. Flying over the city in the plane at night the sight was simply amazing. The lights of the city just went on and on and on over the horizon. I've been to Las Vegas, I've been to New York City, but Mexico City is larger than both put together. It's amazing.

And, the size of the city is also good news for U.S. wheat farmers. The population is continuing to grow a taste for wheat products, even though corn tortillas are culturally the bread of choice. The United States is the top supplier, by far, of wheat into Mexico. Coming in second is Canada.

All over Latin America, the message we've found is about the same. Emerging middle classes are developing a taste for wheat products, be they pasta or artisan breads, and U.S. farmers can fill that niche nicely.

No comments: