The bill’s amendment is sponsored by Senator George Munoz and now goes to the Senate floor. Companion bill HB 238 sponsored by Representative Rudolpho (Rudy) Martinez passed the House with a unanimous vote and is now in the Senate Conservation Committee for approval. This bill helps give consumers confidence that they are supporting a homegrown industry composed primarily of family owned companies and farms. Together, these businesses provide 4,000 jobs, invest in their communities and ultimately have a hand in contributing $300 million to the state’s economy each year. The current proposed legislation also provides for a small farmer exemption from some of the recordkeeping requirements.

“We have a saying around here: God gave us the greatest chile in the world—the Hatch chile—and the opportunity to grow it. And I believe that. It’s the real thing. The hot summer days, cool nights, and special waters of the Rio Grande combine to make Hatch chiles different and better than any chile in the world,” Franzoy added.

Victoria’s cousin, Shayne Franzoy, serves as lead man on the family’s chile operation and is also on the Board of Directors for the New Mexico Chile Association.

“This Bill would provide further protection for the chile industry from competitors that use misleading advertising to deceive consumers. It protects jobs for New Mexicans and provides the opportunity for future economic growth, which this State desperately needs. I am confident that it will pass.I don’t know how anyone could justify opposing it,” Shayne said.

Franzoy says in spite of rain shortfalls, they plan to plant about the same or slightly more chile this year than last, a sign, at least for now, that the New Mexico chile industry is fighting to keep its head above water in spite of the challenges.