The California-based grower-distributor is capitalizing on U.S. market access for Argentine lemons through a cooperative agreement with some of the country’s leading players.
Building on its international operations in Chile and South Africa, U.S.-headquartered Limoneira Company (NASDAQ:LMNR) has made a bold move to gain a foothold in the Southern Hemisphere’s top lemon-exporting nation.
Today the company announced the formation of Grupo Argentino, a cooperative arrangement between Limoneira and three Argentine companies – F.G.F. Trapani S.A., Padilla Citrus S.A. and EarlyCrop S.A.
Grupo Argentino will complement U.S. supplies of lemons during the Northern hemisphere’s summer months with consistent supply from Argentina.
“Our One World of Citrus Model™ is reaping dividends for us, and Grupo Argentino is just the latest piece to the puzzle,” said Limoneira chief operating officer Alex Teague.
“It takes time to find companies with like-minded philosophies and missions. Each of the Members of Grupo Argentino share Limoneira’s dedication to providing uninterrupted supply and the highest quality citrus and service.”
F.G.F Trapani chief executive officer Ricardo Trapani, whose company grows on more than 3,200 acres of land, said three generations of his family had produced and sold fresh lemons for more than 60 years.
“We have developed a reputation for quality and have demonstrated consistent growth. We export globally and are dedicated to sustainability, having received Global GAP, SEDEX and BRC FOOD designations. The One World of Citrus is a logical distribution model for our company,” Trapani said.
Padilla Citrus owns 7,600 acres of land in different geographical areas of Argentina, while EarlyCrop grows and sells both lemons and blueberries, and as its name suggests has a particular advantage in the country’s earliest crop.
“We produce high quality citrus for Argentina’s consumption and for export to world markets. By controlling every part of our process, we ensure product quality to its final destination,” said Padilla chief executive officer Pablo Jose Padilla.
“All members of Grupo Argentino share this same approach and that’s why it makes sense for us to work together and utilize economies of scale.”
EarlyCrop director Fernando Seoane said his group was formed with the aim of meeting demand during the Northern Hemisphere counter-season.
“Coupled with state of the art technology, it has enabled significant growth in many markets throughout the world and this relationship builds on that in North America. It’s a win-win situation,” Seoane said.