With the recent inauguration of TOMRA’s headquarters for Latin America in Chile, I talked to Paola Arévalo, area sales manager TOMRA Food Chile, about the company’s strategy for the region.
Please comment on the frozen food processing trends in Chile
Chile holds the third position in the global export of frozen berries. Our country is famous for its frozen raspberries. Due to our location, the main final markets are the US, Canada and Japan. In the last 2 years we have been seeing an increase in automation technologies that ensure quality and food safety for fruit and vegetable processors. There has also been an increasing demand for frozen products coming from end consumers due to COVID-19. Domestic consumption of frozen vegetables in Chile has also increased in the past months. People can store these products for longer, which gives them some certainty in times of potential lockdown.
What are the processors’ needs for TOMRA’s equipment, specifically in Chile?
There are two main requests from the processors: high performance and reliability. When food processors are ready to invest in technology, firstly they expect it to offer the best solution available in the market to help the be competitive and offer a high-quality product. Secondly, they look for technologies that deliver maximum reliability, as they can’t afford to stop or replace a machine during the production season. We, at TOMRA, fully understand these needs and are able to provide a solution that meets both. We offer high-performance machines with the latest technologies, such as X-ray technology, powerful lasers, high resolution cameras and Biometric Signature Identification (BSI). The latter, BSI, is designed to identify the material’s unique fingerprint, the different composition of the products. For example, with this technology we can see a very clear difference between dehydrated and good quality IQF blueberries – this is unique in the market. In addition, from our new LATAM headquarters in Chile, we offer quick and easy access to critical spare parts, and the support of our highly-trained local after-sales service team, which is ready to follow up on any request.
What type of applications are more relevant to this country?
On Frozen processed applications, I would highlight, in order of relevance: Raspberries, blueberries and other berries.
Please provide more details as to how the new Chile HQ can provide local employment opportunities and what the company strategy is in this regard.
Our strategy is to be closer to our customer and to grow our presence in this region. This growth is not only measured in terms of sales and after-sales service but also in the number of people employed and suppliers collaborating with us as a result of us establishing these new premises. We definitely want to consolidate TOMRA Food´s presence in Chile and in other countries of the region.