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Jorge Arangurí, of Danper, from Peru:

"The communities and the company are growing together, strengthening each other"

"Our management model based on creating shared value connects the efficiency of our investments and economic profitability with the progress of our people and their communities," says the website of Danper, a Peruvian company founded in 1994 by Rosario Bazán and Jorge Arangurí. Today, it employs around 14,000 people, which makes this agro-exporting company one of the largest employers in Peru.

Over the years, the couple created and acquired different companies, with the aim of diversifying their cultivation and marketing activities, both in terms of products and countries of origin and destination. Danper, the parent company, which operates in 20 agricultural regions in Peru along some 1,500 km, grows, packs and exports blueberries, table grapes, avocados, asparagus, artichokes, peppers, mangoes, strawberries and quinoa. The cultivation is carried out on 11,000 hectares and the volumes marketed total around 130,000 tons. In addition to three packing warehouses for fresh products, the company also manages four processing facilities for canned products, one for frozen products, and another for convenience products.

Arantxa Nunez, Commercial Director of the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables division, and Jorge Arangurí, CEO of Danper.

The company drives development
"When we founded Danper, we were committed to creating an outstanding company that would be known not only for the quality of its products, but also as a driver for development that seeks to improve the quality of life of its workers, their families, the communities they live in and the country," says Jorge Arangurí. "In the late '80s, when our country was plagued by terrorism, recession and astronomical inflation, there was no business fabric at all, and there were no jobs. Thousands of Peruvians emigrated abroad in search of a better life. I went to Oxford, but only to study, because I wanted to return and contribute to rebuilding the country."

French buyers and a Danish partner
There in Europe, Jorge met French and Dutch people who marketed white asparagus, mainly canned ones from the Spanish region of Navarre. "Since the Spanish product was very expensive and they knew that asparagus was also grown in Peru, which I didn't know, they asked if I could help them with exporting to France. I wrote a letter to Rosario, who was my girlfriend at the time, telling her about it, and she replied that she was writing a dissertation precisely about this crop. What are the odds... When I returned to Peru, we got in touch with existing agro-exporters of canned products and signed a contract with the French to manage their import operations. Seven years later, we made a joint venture with two Danish partners and together created Danper. Hence the name of the company. Over time, and adhering to the foundational agreement with our partners, Rosario and I consolidated the shareholding," says Jorge.

Jorge Arangurí and Rosario Bazán, awarding Alejandro, a worker who has been with Danper since the company started 30 years ago, the certificate of having finished his secondary education through the CEBA program that Danper launched in Peru together with the Ministry of Education.

Dominus, Abracol, Eurandes and ASF
The Dominus company, specializing in mangoes, was founded in 2007 and acquired by Rosario and Jorge in 2019. This year, Dominus expects to market 16,000 tons of fruit, both fresh and frozen. Arbacol, specialized in avocado, is a company founded in 2019 in Colombia which complements Danper's production and makes it possible to supply avocados to international markets almost every week of the year.

The import and marketing of fruits in Europe are managed by Eurandes, a company founded in 2018, from its headquarters in the Netherlands and Spain. In the United States, All Season Fruits (ASF) handles the import and marketing from its facilities in Philadelphia.

In 2004, Danper also started marketing fresh asparagus. Currently, frozen products account for about 8% of the volumes marketed by the Peruvian company. The rest is sold either fresh or canned, in equal parts. With the goal of achieving a high degree of self-sufficiency, part of the fruits and vegetables are self-grown; 100% in the case of blueberries, 70% in that of avocados and 50% in the case of mangoes. The second class asparagus, avocados, blueberries and table grapes are delivered to the canning and freezing industry. In the case of peppers and artichokes, specific varieties are grown for this segment. "We are the largest exporter of canned artichokes in the entire world," says Jorge Arangurí. "However, we are achieving the largest growth in the fresh segment."

Certifications guarantee shared value
The director of this Peruvian agro-exporting company believes social certifications to be greatly important, with the ISO 45001, NSF, and EDGE standing out the most. The latter is the leading global business certification standard and assessment methodology in terms of gender equality (Equity, Diversity and Gender Equality). "Here in Peru, 40% of households consist of single mothers. It's a terrible statistic. At Danper, we focus on providing opportunities for women. For the good of the country, we strive to prevent children of single mothers from lacking educational opportunities."

Danper employs more than 14,000 people.

According to Jorge Arangurí, it is not easy to obtain all these certifications in a company that employs 14,000 people. "For example, for the NFL certification, certifying agencies talk to workers in private; that is, in the absence of bosses, so they can explain how the company operates in a myriad of areas, from access to drinking water during the workday to the availability of personal protective equipment, including access to medical care. We guarantee the human and labor rights of all our employees, while also keeping horizontal communication structures with the staff. The fact is that you cannot expect an employee to identify with the company if their fundamental rights are not respected."

Hence the importance of shared value, according to the director of Danper. "We certainly aim to achieve economic profitability, but if we do that without having any impact on the problems that workers have to deal with, our work will lack value. The communities and the company are growing together, strengthening each other. For us, creating shared value entails putting our workers at the heart of our organization, and customers at the heart of our strategy, so that the profitability of our company will be linked to the welfare and progress of our people, their families and their communities, as well as to the protection of the environment. Since our foundation, we have prioritized three lines of action: education, health and gender equality," says the director.

"When we founded Danper, we were committed to creating an outstanding company that would be known not only for the quality of its products, but also as a driver for development that seeks to improve the quality of life of its workers, their families, the communities they live in and the country"

Finding the right balance
Danper partly sources its products from small growers, who are offered advantageous financing options, competitive prices for raw materials and training, so that they can deliver the quality demanded by international markets. "As for expansion plans, we have adopted a responsible strategy and a cautious approach. Supplying products to different markets at the right time is key, so we have a clear idea of where and when we want to expand our productions. An example of this was the founding of Arbacol, which allowed us, in combination with the Peruvian supply, to offer avocados to the market almost every week of the year."

Striking the right balance is of vital importance for the success of an internationally vertically integrated company, according to Jorge Arangurí. "It is not easy to achieve the right balance between controllable and uncontrollable factors. In this sense, innovation is key; finding new ways of doing things. The market changes, the climate changes, and you can't just stand still. You need to anticipate yourself to those changes," says the director.

Arantxa Nuñez, Commercial Director of the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables division, says that "in fact, this year, due to climate change, the avocado harvest will be reduced by 16%, according to official figures managed by the sector. However, both we and other operators believe that the loss will be greater and will range between 25% and 30%, basically due to the lack of large calibers. While in a normal year we achieve a yield of 20-25 tons per hectare, this season some regions won't exceed 12 t/ha. Also, we are not having higher prices to make up for the lower volumes, since in Europe there is currently an oversupply of smaller sizes, which are coming not only from Peru, but also from Spain, South Africa, Kenya and Colombia."

"Therefore," concludes Jorge Arangurí, "we need to invest in new avocado and table grape varieties, which must be heat-resistant and adapted to the new climatic conditions. It is necessary to bet on innovation and research. Only science will be able to give us an answer to these future challenges."

For more information:
Jorge Arangurí (CEO)
Ctra. Industrial a Lareda s7n
Sector Barrio Nuevo – Moche
Trujillo, Peru
Tel.: +51 44 257484
[email protected]

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