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Pharr Kicks-Off Start of the 2019-2020 Produce Season

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Traditional Cutting of the Fruit (L to R) – Texas State Representative Sergio Muñoz, Jr., Texas State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D., Consul de Mexico in McAllen Socorro Guadalupe Jorge Cholula, Chairman of the Pharr International Bridge Board Edgar Delgadillo, and Pharr Bridge Director Luis Bazan.
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Pharr, Texas – Surrounded by brightly displayed fresh fruits and vegetables, the City of Pharr kicked-off the start of the 2019-2020 Produce Season at the Pharr International Bridge alongside dignitaries and produce growers, importers, distributors, and consumers from the United States and Mexico. 

“Pharr takes great pride in being 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 and technology, continue to increase our produce imports, improve crossings and wait times of commercial vehicles and have worked closely with our partners at the state and federal levels to ensure that our port of entry continues to expand capacity and meet the demands of our growing economy,” he continued. “Produce plays an integral role in our regional and international economy, and here in Pharr we are proud to be the gateway for these products as they enter into the United States and get distributed to the rest of the nation,” 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. “Although we experienced a few rough months during the threatened closing of the border, we came up with innovative schedules for our commercial trucks which paid off,” he continued. “Our figures show that we have already exceeded the number of trucks and produce that entered through Pharr this year compared to the same period last year,” added Bazan. “Pharr continues to invest, plan, and work together with all our partners to expand our opportunities.”

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.

Luis Bazan, Pharr Bridge Director

“Produce plays an integral role in our state and national economy,” said Dante Galeazzi, President & CEO of the Texas International Produce Association, as he addressed the crowd. “Our economy relies on the billions of dollars generated from produce; it creates thousands of jobs, provides food for our families, and is a commodity that we cannot live without,” he added. “Pharr has done a tremendous job in growing their bridge over the past 25 years, and we are proud to have the nation’s largest port of entry for fresh produce here in our backyard,” he continued. “Don’t forget to eat your fruits and vegetables!” quipped Galeazzi as he ended his remarks. 

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Pharr International Bridge, which is key to economic growth in the region. Special dignitaries Texas State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and Texas State Representative Sergio Muñoz, Jr. both praised Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D., city leadership, and bridge director Luis Bazan and his board for their efforts in advocating for the needs of the bridge and helping to pass legislation to improve services and funding for infrastructure.

Dante Galeazzi, President & CEO of the Texas International Produce Association
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“As a top priority, we have worked together authoring and supporting key legislation that has helped our Pharr International Bridge become the #1 Port of Entry in the U.S. for fresh fruits and vegetables,” stated Representative Muñoz during his remarks. “Our economy relies on Pharr and we will continue to support initiatives, legislation, and appropriate funding to ensure the continued growth of the city and the Pharr International Bridge,” added Senator Hinojosa. 

The Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge, the only full-service commercial bridge in the area, brings in about $13 million a year in revenues to the City of Pharr.

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