The Chilean company put its trust in Tomra Food once again in order to optimize its sorting process and continue to offer premium quality frozen raspberries. Ten years ago, Vitafoods (formerly Hortifrut and Alifrut separately) opted for the brand for its blueberry production and acquired Tomra technology. On the back of their positive experience, they have opted for the Tomra 5B, a sorter ideal for products that, like frozen raspberries, require delicate handling and high precision when sorting.
Technology is a powerful ally at a time when the activities of the food sector have been complicated by the mobility restrictions and complexity in recruiting and managing the workforce due to the pandemic.
Chile is one of the largest exporters of frozen berries and raspberries. “The raspberry is the product with the highest added value when it is whole. When it breaks, a by-product called crumble is produced, which has a considerably lower value. Being able to automatically process IQF raspberries without damaging them or losing value is a great advantage for processors. In addition, our technology is flexible, easy to use, and offers a high yield,’” explains Paola Arévalo, Sales Manager Tomra Processed Food at Tomra Food Chile.
The Chilean company Vitafoods is the largest berry processor in Chile and aims to consolidate soon its position as the country’s largest frozen fruit exporter. It has chosen a Tomra 5B for the grading of its delicate frozen raspberries. This is a segment with an upward trend. As Fernando Larios, COO of Vitafoods explains, “Consumers, especially during the first wave of the pandemic, were looking for healthy products that would also have a longer shelf life, such as the IQF raspberry.”
Vitafoods was born from the merger of the Hortifrut and Alifrut frozen food businesses. Today it exports 93% of its production and relies on more than 300 producers, which positions the company as one of the most powerful companies in the market.
Its main asset? Undoubtedly quality. “At Vitafoods we offer premium quality. This allows us to work with the most demanding market, such as the United States and Europe, or to meet the most demanding requirements of Asian countries such as Japan.”
In terms of its customer base, the company’s sales from the retail channel (supermarkets and retail outlets) versus bulk sales have grown to almost 50% - an achievement they are very proud of. As far as the type of product is concerned, Vitafoods offers two types of fruit: organic and non-organic because, as Fernando Larios explains, “In Chile we have the enormous advantage of an ideal climate that gives raspberries a superior flavor. In addition, our natural borders create a barrier against pests. This allows for greater phytosanitary control, which enables us to sell both products.”