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Ecuador building biggest Latin American tuber farm and pack house

The biggest Latin American tuber production plant and farm of 1 000 hectares is being built, by Translatin S.A. in Ecuador. According to Daniel Delgado Gonzalez, Commercial Manager at Translatin S.A. this is to meet the fast growing demand for these products in Europe and the US markets. “Translatin S.A. which currently supplies tubers to the European countries of Spain, France and Italy, will increase volumes from 441 400 boxes of eddo and malanga to over 1,2 million boxes in the next year.” he says.

Monica Villarruel and Tatiana Luna at the Translatin stand in Orlando, Florida.

Eddo is a tropical vegetable and Malanga a coco type of root vegetable popular in the Caribbean and Japan. Translatin also exports plantain, lemon and pitahaya with over 1,4 million boxes of all of these fruit exported to their main market of the US.  They export 320 000 boxes of plantain, eddo, and Malanga coco to Europe.

The company has been a first time exhibitor at both the Global Produce show in Orlando and at Fruit Attraction in Madrid this year. “Europe receives 10% of our exportable offer, being one of the markets with the most exponential growth just after our participation in Fruit Attraction 2022. Our main markets are the United States, where we ship 90% of our export volume to mostly New York to our commercial office Raices Latinas Produce Corp. We also send to Los Angeles with our associated company Glam Partners Inc. with whom we have made a good synergy, being a sales reference for our tubers,” states Delgado.

“With the increase in production, processing, and mechanization, after two years we will export over 1,2 million boxes of tubers (of eddo and malanga). This increase is not only for our own exportable offer, but we will also serve the rest of the export sector, selling locally the packaged product ready to be transported. We have found a purchasing niche for our products (eddo, malanga and plantain) in France and Italy, but Spain continues to be the largest buyers in Europe. Our experience and trajectory in these products gives us a competitive advantage by being able to send volume, quality and sizes, not to mention the protection we give our buyers by giving them a product guarantee,” explains Delgado.

Displaying the Translatin produce in Madrid is Monica Villarruel, Karen Moreira and Tatiana Luna.

He says sales prices for these products differ widely between markets. “Sales prices work differently in each market and fluctuate widely between the USA and EU. We must also consider that for the US market we use boxes of 16 kg gross weight and for Europe we use boxes of 10 kg net weight. For plantain it is always box weight 52 lbs gross weight.”

Delgado says before becoming Translatin they have learned farming and exports the hard way. “We have a decade of experience before becoming Translatin. It was a decade of trial and error, which helped us to be clear about the different details so that as an exporter we can be efficient and consistent with our win-win philosophy.”

“In our commitment to reinvestment in agriculture, the General Director of the business group, Fabian Villarruel, bought 1 000 hectares in eastern Ecuador for planting our star products. This is in addition to the 80 hectares already planted so far, with that we will become the largest producer of eddo and malanga in South America concentrated in a single company. Until now we have Global Gap certification for our farms and tuber packers, we continue working on more certifications to reach the most demanding markets. In about two months’ time we will finish the largest tuber packing plant (malanga eddo, plantain, pitahaya and tree tomato) with water resource saving technology. We are aware of the impact of water use in the communities where we operate, thus consolidating the reference company in these commodities. With these improvements we plan to compete hand in hand with countries like China and Costa Rica,” Delgado concludes.

For more information:
Daniel Delgado González
Translatin S.A.
Tel: +593 4231 0139 Ext. 104
Email: [email protected]