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Argentina: Main fruit producer in the country laid off over a thousand workers

The Expofrut Company, a leader in the production, packaging, and marketing of fresh fruits and vegetables, decided to lay off about 109 workers and informed the Fruit Union that they wouldn't be hiring any more personnel. 

The secretary general of the packaging union, Rodrigo Malaspina, confirmed the layoffs and said they took place in Lamarque, in the department of Avellaneda, in the province of Rio Negro. 

"Those responsible for the packaging reported about the layoffs and said there wouldn't be as much fruit in the current campaign as in the previous years. Unfortunately this is how it is and we have no choice but to accept it," Malaspina.

Expofrut has been in crisis for several months as it had already closed the baler in the city of Cipolletti and had a permanent reduction in plant workers in its establishment of General Roca.

The company stated that their intention was to continue working with the 340 employees left in the plant and to do an in-depth restructuring within the next three years. 

Expofrut started its activities in 1971 in the prime area of the Rio Negro Valley and Neuquen, from where it started a growth period, first within Argentina and then in Brazil and Costa Rica. Expofrut produces, packs, and sells vegetables, pome fruit, stone fruit, and citrus in Patagonia, Cuyo, Mesopotamia and Northwest Argentina. The company produces and sells tropical fruits abroad.

"It's a complicated season, but so far there are no signs that other companies in the region will make the same determination as Expofrut," said the general secretary of the union.

However, the Salentein Fruit Company, located in the town of Chimpay, chose to close down and lay off its 45 employees who were already paid compensation as prescribed by law. "They were already paid their corresponding compensation," Malaspina said, adding that the Cerezas Argentinas Company was also in trouble and that working conditions were not optimal there.

Salentein Fruits, part of the Salentein Group conglomerate in the country, is finishing closing operations in the Mid Rio Negro Valley after having sold its plant in Guerrico and hundreds of hectares to the Kleppe firm two years ago.

The truth is that the two fruit companies that operate in the province of Rio Negro laid-off about 154 workers, amidst the market crisis affecting the sector since early this year.
The fruit sector of Patagonia has been going through a crisis due to a lack of profitability, with insufficient revenues to cover production costs.


Source: cronista.com

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