Marco Villegas has a Chemical degree, postgraduate in Quality Systems and Master in Engineering of Quality at the “Universidad Iberoamericana México”. 14 years ago he became involved in the agrifood industry through innovation projects at the “Fundación Produce Puebla“, Mexico. Through these projects he identified the need to implement good agricultural practices (GAP) under a management system approach to maintain the competitiveness of the agrifood export industry.

He joined the public-private program Mexico Calidad Suprema  in 2003, where he was responsible for the benchmarking process with EurepGAP, as well as the design and administration of the national certification program for the Mexico Supreme Quality, GLOBALG.A.P., MéxicoG.A.P. and organic production schemes, among others. Marco managed the national network of Certification Bodies, Consultants and Trainers for Food Safety issues. By 2013 he was promoted to the interior of Mexico Supreme Quality for the cooperation and generation of strategic alliances as a key axis for the strengthening of the industry.

As a representative of Mexico Marco participated in several national and international forums sharing his vision of Food Safety and Quality System issues. He has been invited as a technical expert and consultant by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in international cooperation projects, providing technical assistance to countries such as Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia and Ecuador. 

Today Marco is responsible for managing projects for the food industry, as well as skills development and consulting activities in Food Safety and Quality certification schemes aligned with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). He leads the project GLOBALG.A.P. Mexico, through which cooperation agreements are promoted with several agrifood stakeholders and the industry, promoting productive articulation and a culture of quality and safety in food production processes in Mexico.

Mexico has exceptional conditions (commercial, agro-climatic, etc.) to maintain sustained growth as an exporter of food and to maintain leadership in several agrifood sectors, but above all, it has a great differentiating value and this has to do with its "gente", that are people of strength, nobility, fortitude, effort, commitment and dedication that make the agrifood export sector a fundamental pillar for the development of the country. GLOBALG.A.P. has been a good option for Mexican growers for more than 10 years and will continue to be key to improving the conditions not only of Food Safety issues, but also to protecting the environment, biodiversity, improving worker conditions and social practices.

Marco sees two challenges for the country in the next years and believes in placing priority attention on strengthening the competitiveness of the food sector: The first challenge is related to improving collaboration, communication and integration of interests between public and private organizations, and the second one is about the development of competent local capacities to cover the demand for effective solutions and services for the sector. 

He is a loving father and husband and very proud of his family. His two little daughters are eight years and six months old. They are what drives him on in day-to-day life and provide inspiration to be a better person. On weekends his family enjoys excursions to Mexican landscapes, gastronomy, crafts and culture that characterize the richness of the country and are such an important part of their identity. Marco is a spontaneous photographer who enjoys taking photos whenever he gets the chance to keep hold of precious moments.

Photo Credit: Marco Villegas