Derek Newberry

Rising Ventures: Berni Labs offers alternatives for Mexico’s low-income farmers

Berni LabsThe crop duster crashing and dumping pesticides into the Los Mochis water supply was bad enough. But when a warehouse blaze released toxic agrochemicals into the air, causing respiratory illnesses among farmers and their families in the area, Jorge Berni knew there had to be a better way.

Jorge had twenty years of experience as an organic farmer but in the wake of this series of ecological disasters, he decided to apply his chemical expertise and his principled stance on sustainable practices to form Berni Labs and create a pesticide alternative. His product, Bug Balancer has expanded its appeal as a safe, highly effective agrochemical from the local agriculture community in which he works to the far corners of Mexico, and more recently to the international market.This company is well worth highlighting because it gives farmers in Mexico’s agriculturally-driven rural economies a safe and affordable method by which to protect their crops. Conventional pesticides cause serious health issues, entering water supplies, and being absorbed into laborers? bodies on contact. Bug Balancer allows farmers to continue their economically sustainable practices while protecting themselves and their communities.

As a sidenote, Jorge Berni was also one of WRI’s sponsored participants in the recent BiD forum– he is a passionate and dedicated entrepreneur, and his story is well worth a read.