South Africa-based multinational Westfalia Fruit International (WFI) has concluded a transaction with Chile-based fruit supplier Agricom, ensuring a “leading position in the global avocado supply” for the resulting partnership.
In a release, Westfalia said the transaction would align the two groups’ interests in the Americas to maximize synergies, build on common legacies of innovation and sustainability, and deliver a reliable supply of quality avocados to global markets.
A Westfalia spokesperson clarified the transaction equated to a shareholding taken in Agricom but further details could not be given.
Westfalia also has partnerships elsewhere in South America including with Camet Trading in Peru. In a joint venture with Subsole, Westfalia was one of the pioneers in the Colombian avocado export industry through the entity Westsole, but late last year it purchased Subsole’s shares in the group which is now wholly owned with its name changed to WFI.
Founded in 1980 by entrepreneur Rodrigo Barros, Agricom pioneered the production and export of Chilean fresh fruit to become one of the country’s leading fresh fruit exporters. In 2005, the Santiago-based firm established a very important strategic alliance in Mexico with Aztecavo, a prominent Mexican-owned exporter of avocados.
Agricom also has interests in other Latin American countries including Peru (Incavo). Agricom currently exports avocados, lemons, mandarins, stone fruit, apples, cherries, berries, pomegranates and nuts.
This diverse product range is complemented by Westfalia’s marketing channels in Europe and the USA, while WFI’s production in and exports from Colombia and Peru serve to enhance Agricom’s position in Latin America.
“Our joint purpose is to be the preferred supplier to our customer base – ensuring reliable year-round supply from multiple global sources; delivering leading technology and plant material; and providing all the provenances that assure quality and sustainability to satisfy consumers’ preferences consistently,” said Claus Lippert, CEO of Hans Merensky Holdings Group (HMH), of which Westfalia Fruit is a subsidiary.
“Westfalia is very proud to be associated with Agricom, with whom we share common values of integrity, innovation, quality and food safety. Westfalia and Agricom share a strong focus on research and innovation, world-class technology, as well as highest standards of quality control and regulatory compliance.
“Sustainable business, social and environmental strategies have contributed to the success of our organisations in our respective regions, as do the supportive and transparent relationships we have established with producers, customers and the communities in which we operate.”
Westfalia said the deal was expected to create exciting developments within the global fresh produce arena, including the targeting of Asian markets with their increasing appetite for high-quality fruit.