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Colombia 23/01/2019

The biggest and the most modern plant for avocados has been opened in Colombia

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The ceremony attracted more than 200 guests, including Colombia’s government officials, diplomats, company’s top management and stakeholders, representatives from industry organisations, fresh fruit producers and exporters.

The new plant significantly extends the processing capacity of Westfalia Fruit Colombia, adding to the two facilities it already runs in Antioquia. The company started operation in the production, packing and sale of Hass avocados for export in 2012, and has developed very fast in the country’s buoyant avocado industry which, according to the Trade Ministry, has seen exports increase by 413% from US$ 10.3 Million in 2015 to US$ 52.9 Million in 2017. In just six years Westfalia Fruit Colombia has exported more than 800 containers to international destinations across the world such as the UK, the Netherlands, France, the USA, Spain, Canada and Saudi Arabia, quickly becoming the country’s first exporter of Hass avocados. With the investment in the new facility in Sonsón, the company expects to triple its production capacity to support its continued growth.

Pedro Aguilar-Niño, General Manager of Westfalia Fruit Colombia, stated: “…This processing plant has the highest capacity and the most advanced technology in the country – it is a strong statement of belief in the region, which becomes a true cluster for the production and export of Hass avocados. We have equipped the plant with the advanced systems provided by New Zealand company Compac, part of TOMRA Food – a true leader in cutting edge fruit grading and sorting technology. Together, we will be able to contribute to the development of our sector.” 

Cutting edge technology for the new Sonsón processing plant

The new processing plant benefits from the advanced packhouse technologies of the Compac Multi Lane Sorter (MLS) and Inspectra2 systems.

“These solutions will provide the answers to Westfalia Fruit Colombia’s requirements,” explained Jacinto Trigo, Compac Latin America Regional Director. “They ensure the consistently high quality of its product and optimize grading precision. Together with the high quality after sales service that Compac is able to deliver, its packhouse technology enables the company to meet its requirements in post-harvest processing capacity, minimize waste, and ensure its customers’ satisfaction.”

The 5-lane Compac MLS can process 25 tonnes of avocadoes per hour, ensuring the capacity required by Westfalia Fruit Colombia. The fruit is then ready for inspection by the Inspectra2 platform, which uses Near-infrared (NIR) technology to test the internal properties of each piece of fruit and deliver consistently high grading accuracy. It detects defects that are not visible externally and sorts the good from the bad, eliminating the need to cut samples of fruit. Most importantly, it grades the avocados on dry matter and softness – which indicate the maturity of the fruit. This allows Westfalia to pack the produce according to the customer’s requirements and where they are in the supply chain, ensuring they receive the highest quality fruit at optimal maturity for their operation. With this technology Westfalia is able to deliver consistently high quality, enhancing its brand perception and increasing the export opportunities for its Hass avocados.

About Westfalia Fruit
Westfalia Fruit was founded in 1949 in South Africa. It is a leading multinational supplier of fresh fruit and related processed products to international markets. Part of the Hans Merensky Holdings Group, Westfalia grows, sources and ripens, packs, processes and markets quality avocados year round. Its vertically-integrated supply chain enables Westfalia to market quality fruit from across the globe. 

About Agricom, owner of Westfalia Fruit Colombia and Westfalia Farms Colombia
Chilean producer and exporter of fresh fruit with over 35 years of operation in the international markets. It relies on 1,400 hectares of sustainably farmed land and more than 1800 employees who share a passion for quality fruit. It delivers on its commitment to supporting and providing the best and safest produce to its growers, packers and customers through innovation, cutting-edge technology, the strictest quality control, a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. This has enabled it to achieve international accreditations that include Global Gap, BRC, HACCP and Sedex Smeta.
For further information about Westfalia Fruit, please see westfaliafruit.com

About Compac & TOMRA
Compac provides integrated post-harvest solutions and services to the global fresh produce industry using one of the world’s most advanced grading technology. Combining industry leading solutions with award-winning grading platforms like Spectrim, the company’s mission is to enable its customers to improve returns, gain operational efficiencies, and ensure a safe food supply via smart, usable technologies. To achieve this, Compac operates centers of excellence, regional offices and manufacturing locations within the United States, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia.
For further information about Compac, please see compacsort.com.

Compac is member of the TOMRA Group that was founded on innovation in 1972 that began with design, manufacturing and sale of reverse vending machines (RVMs) for automated collection of used beverage containers. Today, TOMRA has ~90,000 installations in over 80 markets worldwide and had total revenues of ~6.6 billion NOK in 2016. The TOMRA Group continues to innovate and provide cutting-edge solutions for optimal resource productivity within two main business areas: Collection Solutions (reverse vending and material recovery) and Sorting Solutions (recycling, mining and food sorting). For further information about TOMRA, please see www.tomra.com.
For further information about TOMRA, please see tomra.com.

Visit Compac and Tomra at Fruit Logistica in Berlin (February 6-8, 2019) Hall 9 Stand D-22 and Westfalia in Hall 5.2 Stand D-02.


For inquiries about sorting solutions:
https://www.tomra.com/en/sorting/food
http://www.compacsort.com/
Roberto Ricci
GM & VP Europe
Roberto.Ricci@tomra.com
+39 335 1224955

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Lucy Duncan, New Zealand ambassador in Colombia; Luis Pérez Gutiérrez, governor of Antioquia; Andrés Valencia, Minister of Agriculture; and Pedro Aguilar, manager of Westfalia Fruit Colombia.
   
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