President Calderón Announces Support for Tortilla Industry

Mexico City.- Earlier today, President Felipe Calderón launched the new tortilla chain,  Mi Tortilla, in order to strengthen and continue to support the country’s small and medium businesses, since they create jobs for Mexicans.

At the Francisco I. Madero Esplanade at the official Los Pinos residence, the President declared that this program consists of providing financing to acquire new machinery, train workers and incorporate them into this network of tortilla factories.

“It also involves strengthening a key sector for Mexicans, namely the corn and tortilla production chain. Because, by helping small-scale tortilla producers, we are also boosting the incomes of millions of Mexican families who depend on this product, tortilla, for their daily sustenance,” he explained.

Accompanied by Economy Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Mateos, the President said that the Mi Tortilla chain aims to provide 400 credits at the beginning of the program. By the end of 2010, it will have provided over four thousand credits for a sum of over 500 million pesos.

“And the goal for 2012, when I finish my term as president, is to ensure that at least 20% of the corn grinders and tortilla factories, in other words, one out of every five, will have benefited from the various forms of support and financing provided by the Mi Tortilla Program,” he said.

He remarked that these tortilla factories will be equipped with solar heaters, which will help reduce micro-businessmen’s electricity consumption by up to 30%. He added that despite last year’s economic crisis, his government made a firm commitment to small producers, supporting nearly 80,000 small and medium businesses and providing credit for nearly 85 billion pesos.

“And you know what? We’re still doing that. Government will continue to provide loans for the country’s small and medium businesses to enable them to start up, modernize or re-open their business. In government, we are making every effort to ensure that there are affordable prices for Mexican families,” he said. In this respect, he said that his administration is using a valid market mechanism to regulate the price of tortillas to prevent abuses. He also instructed the Federal Consumers’ Bureau (PROFECO) to prevent and punish all kinds of irregularities. “Because you can and should play fair with consumers. At the same time, you can use mechanisms such as Mi Tortilla to reduce costs for producers so that they do not affect consumer prices or product availability,” he explained.