State-of-the-art cherry processing plant launched in Chile
Chile’s biggest cherry exporter Agrícola Garcés has opened a new facility with daily capacity to pack 270,000kg (595lbs) of the fruit.
The new packinghouse in Molina in the VII (Maule) region is the company’s second and is the most modern of its kind in the country, costing US$30 million to build.
The 24,00 square meter (258,333 square foot) plant has two cooling houses – one conventional and another with controlled atmosphere – and in addition to its cherry-related functions will also be able to pack 180kg (397lbs)of kiwifruit per day.
“This processing plant in Molina is the result of years of experience, applying knowledge, and more than anything making a plant while thinking about the fruit and for the fruit,” said company president Hernán Garcés.
The new facility will reduce handling by 50% and reduce packing time by 25%, maintaining the highest quality standards. The business also has a packing house in Philadelphia in the U.S., a sales office in Europe and plans to open a new one in China.
The Molina project is expected to employ 200 people, which will rise to 600 during the high season.
Agrícola Garcés currently ships 5.7 million boxes of fruit each season, supplied from its own production and 200 growers.