Piles of red cónico corn and blue cónico corn

2023 Sourcing Report

A Note From Our Founder

January 2023

Hey folks, 

The beginning of the year is a good time to look forward, but in order to do so, it’s helpful to look back. It’s with great pleasure that we’re sharing highlights from our 2023 Sourcing Report here. (You can also find the full report at the bottom of the page.) 

We publish these annual reports because transparency is part of the ethos here at Masienda, and if you buy our products, talk about them with your friends, or even just follow us on Instagram, we think of you as a key community stakeholder. We want you to know the realities of our business — our wins and our losses — because we’re all in this together. Thank you for taking an interest in heirloom corn and being a part of our journey. We couldn’t do it without you. 

Jorge Gaviria
CEO

Our Impact in 2023

Our Sourcing Values

Preserving Access to Heirloom Corn
Our pricing model is designed to maintain the stability of local markets, which are fundamental to the social, economic, and nutritional well-being of our communities.
Paying Retail Prices Up Front
Guaranteeing advance payment limits a farmer’s exposure to risk, freeing them to further invest in their next planting cycle and balance their interests accordingly.
Protecting Intellectual Property
We work with farmers who have preserved their corn through natural selection over hundreds of years. Our role is not to dictate what is grown, but rather to open up additional market opportunities.
Embracing Environmental Sustainability
We do not source materials that are treated with pesticides, and we maintain chemical-free post-harvest handling practices.
Investing in Local Communities
For us, impact goes beyond paying a premium price to farmers. We also hire and train teams in local communities to lead operations.
Creating a Knowledge-Sharing Culture
We aim to create this a knowledge-sharing culture in Mexico, the US, and abroad as we work toward a common goal of preserving and celebrating the rich culture that surrounds heirloom corn masa.
Mapping Our Growth

Partner Spotlight: Armando Guadarrama

Partner Spotlight: Armando Guadarrama

Follow the maíz azul. It’s in the fertile soils at the base of the Jocotitlán volcano in Estado de México where Armando Guadarrama pours his passion into growing heirloom corn, mostly cónico and cacahuazintle. We’ve been purchasing corn from Armando since Masienda was founded back in 2014, and in recent years, it’s brought us much delight to see that Armando’s son Moisés has joined him in the family business. While yield can easily vary year to year (as with most of our farmer partners, all of Guadarrama’s parcels are rain-fed), Armando says he will never stop farming, as long as his soil continues to produce.

Armando Guadarrama, Partner Farmer, ESTADO DE MÉXICO

“We all benefit — both the people who consume the product and the people who help me produce it.”

Looking Ahead

We call ourselves The Better Masa Company because essentially our mission boils down to something simple: delivering masa that’s better than anything our customers have ever tasted. 

The way we source our corn — by aggregating surplus from an extensive network of smallholder farmers in Mexico — isn’t easy, but we believe it’s worth it. Genetic diversity and traditional farming practices produce a flavor and texture that just taste, well, better. And they happen to be better for the community and the planet, too.      

As we wrap up this year, we are heartened to know that more people are able to enjoy the taste of a true tortilla while helping preserve the biodiversity of one the world’s most important crops. Despite instability in the global economy and a particularly volatile year in the corn market, we were able to purchase more than 2.6 million pounds of corn (a record) and invest a total of more than $2.5 million USD in small-scale agriculture and family-run businesses in Mexico.     

While we cannot know exactly what’s in store for 2024, we are proud to have built a resilient supply chain and assembled a world-class team to help write the next chapter. 

– The Masienda Team

A Plot of Heirloom Corn

2023

Sourcing Report

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