New processing plant for Chile's largest cherry exporter

The new unit's production capacity is of 270,000 kilos of cherries per day and arrives after a US$ 30 million investment. It will also reduce fruit manipulation by 50%. 

Agrícola Garcés inaugurated its second cherry processing plant today and continues the innovation process started in 1995. Ever since that year, they have worked to overcome the main difficulties that high quality product exporters had back in the day and have revolutionised packing systems.

The processing plant inaugurated today comes after a US$ 30 million investment and it is the most advanced in the country. The 24,000 m2 facilities include a conventional and a controlled atmosphere refrigerator and a total production capacity of 270,000 kilos of cherries and 180,000 of kiwis and/or plums per day.

"This plant arrives after years of experience, of applying our knowledge and, above all, it is designed thinking on how best to process the fruit," says Hernán Garcés, president of Agrícola Garcés.

After considering various alternatives, Agrícola Garcés started mechanising the packing process, incorporating new technology every day, which increased efficiency and allowed for fresh fruit to be exported to faraway markets, seeking for larger profit margins to become the most important cherry exporter in the country. The award given by Fedefruta to the Garcés Echeverría family for their contributions to innovation in the fruit business is a testament to that.

Encouraged by positive experiences and good results, it was decided to build this new plant in the seventh region, which will reduce fruit manipulation by 50% and packing time by 25%, while keeping the same high quality standards. Agrícola Garcés has a packing plant in Philadelphia, East Coast of the US, sales offices in Europe, and is planning to do the same soon in China. It currently exports more than 5,700,000 boxes every season, working with its own production and alongside more than 200 producers.

The project will give permanent employment to 200 people, men and women; a figure which will rise up to 600 when the season reaches its peak.

Source: Lo Garcés 

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