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Chile 26/08/2020

TOMRA Food commented on how new headquarters for Latin America will benefit the region and global supply chain

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Recently TOMRA Food has opened new headquarters in Santiago, Chile. Fructidor had an opportunity to interview the team and get to know more.


Compac’s Regional Director for Latin America, part of the TOMRA Food family, Jacinto Trigo, explained this is going to help the supply chain both in a long-term strategic way and in a day-to-day operational way. “Latin America plays a big role in the global supply chain of fresh produce and Chile is a big part of this. Our location in Chile puts us in a good position to deeply understand the market and its needs.”


People want fruit on their table 365 days per year, and this means the supermarkets have to follow the seasons from region to region. “To give just one example, avocados are for sale in Europe year-round, and this is made possible by the fruit coming from different markets, following the seasons in avocado-growing nations such as Chile, Peru, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico,” Mr. Trigo commented.


Consumers also want consistency and quality. To achieve this, fruit needs to be sorted with high-end technology. This is where companies help exporters to make the right decisions: “We facilitate access to our expertise by meeting customers and demonstrating our technology and our base in Chile makes it easy for our people and spare parts to travel to other parts of the LATAM region.”


The benefits of the new headquarters for TOMRA Food and its two sister companies, Compac and BBC Technologies

“We want to care so well for our customers that they feel like part of the TOMRA Food family. Ultimately, our customers will have one point of contact when grading their produce. They will have the convenience of treating us as a one-stop shop, even though most grow and pack different categories of produce, which require different TOMRA Food platforms. For example, we have customers here in Chile who pack nuts, blueberries and cherries, and have all their platforms from TOMRA Food”, shared Jacinto Trigo.


Having a greater presence in this region and being closer to the customers will also have other benefits. For example, the companies can cross-train technicians to better support their customers. Moreover, being in Chile gives to companies a detailed understanding of the market and its challenges, across all the categories their technologies are able to sort and to grade.


Chile's choice among other regions / countries and the opportunities for creation of new workplaces

Klaus Erdmann, Country Manager of Compac in Chile, told that other countries were evaluated also: “We were looking to locate our headquarters in a market which not only has a good size but is also stable, with clear market rules. Chile fulfills these conditions. What’s more, because Chile is a big exporter, its producers face great demands for high quality, consistent quality, and accurate grading, and this is what Compac and TOMRA Food specialize in.”


He noted that Compac is actioning a growth plan aligned with TOMRA Food’s objectives, and this requires an increase in resources in the short- and medium-term.


“Our growth plan for the region will also involve local people. In order to give our clients excellent support, we must support and train the increasingly large network of customers who prefer our technology. In recent years, TOMRA Food has been increasing its number of machine installations and growing its team of people in a sustainable way,” concluded Paola Arevalo Lucero, Area Sales Manager of TOMRA Food in Chile.


The global network of training for Latin American customers

Having a new regional training center will benefit all of companies' clients in Latin America. Jacinto Trigo said that companies have all the technology for training, and they will use their global network to enhance it. “Our training specialists in Chile are regularly in contact with specialists around the globe, so they can remotely share their knowledge on specific topics and applications. And our headquarters is strategically located near Santiago’s airport and hotels, so that it is easy for operators to come here for training.”


Machines' testing for clients with their own samples of products on places or holding tests with online demonstrations due to COVID-19?

Companies are obliging all the precautionary safety measures imposed by the government, as well as imposing additional precautions of their own, to take care of their clients and employees.


“We prefer to conduct demonstrations and tests remotely for now to minimize exposure. It is in this way that we are scheduling demonstrations in the foreseeable future, until the situation that affects us all is under control,” commented Jacinto Trigo.


TOMRA Food team has carried out several tests and demonstrations in new facilities in Chile, despite the pandemic. Paola Arevalo Lucero said about company’s strict protocols to be able to receive their clients in person and, in the event that it is not possible to receive a visit from clients, the company offer online demos of which TOMRA Food have already done several.


In the case of fresh fruit, because of the complexity of defining the different qualities of fruit, Compac’s remote demonstrations have not been possible. “However, we plan to run several tests as soon as the restrictions are lifted. Obviously, we will continue to take all necessary safety precautions to minimize risk for our clients and our staff,” explained Klaus Erdmann.


At the end of the interview Mr. Trigo summed up TOMRA Food has a significant and growing installation base in Latin America, supporting most of the major export brands in Chile. The opening of new regional headquarters is another step forward in providing local access to company’s global network of training, technical expertise and services across the whole Latin America region.


TOMRA Food also has regional headquarters in the USA, South Africa and China, and 32 regional offices around the world with global headquarters in Belgium.


More information about the companies on their websites: TOMRA Food, Compac and BBC Technologies.



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Jacinto Trigo, Compac’s Regional Director for Latin America, Paola Arevalo Lucero, Area Sales Manager of TOMRA Food in Chile and TOMRA Food - Compac team.
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