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Despite the complex season the sector experienced, it doubled its shipments to the United States, added new applications to the industrial products portfolio, and marked a new milestone in the sustainable management of renewable resources.
After several positive campaigns, 2019 was a difficult year for Argentine citrus, with results below expectations due to the inclement weather, added to the global lemon oversupply, the oscillation of the industrial market and the local economic situation. Despite all this, Citrusvil managed to close its season in compliance with the commercial commitments assumed, exceeding 23,000 tons in fresh fruit exports, doubling the export to the US market, developing new industrial products and specific solutions, and adding value to its system of sustainable production by transforming biogas into electrical energy, from the treatment of its effluents.
Tucumán offers to the production of lemons, environmental conditions that make it possible to obtain a product with excellent characteristics that make it desirable for external markets. However, the incessant autumn rains delayed the start of this year’s campaign, which reduced the possibility of exporting during the months of May and June, and also affected the quantity, quality and health of the fruit to be harvested , generating a decrease in productivity compared to previous years.
The growing global demand and rising prices in recent years, both of fresh fruit and industrial products, led producers to invest in more productive areas, generating an oversupply of lemons globally. On the other hand, Spain extended its campaign, which reduced our commercial window in the European Union, consequently reducing Citrusvil shipments to this market by 30%.
“The coming season may be favored by the lower estimated production by Spain, which may imply a positive impact on the European Union markets,” said Francisco Rotella, Commercial Manager of Fresh Fruit of Citrusvil.
One of the novelties of this year in Citrusvil, was the restructuring and conditioning of its Ischilón Packing Plant, in compliance with the demanding policies of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States government, which seeks to guarantee the safety system of food products entering the country.
Ischilón’s packaging, automated with state-of-the-art technology, with an installed capacity of 5,500 tons and a potential to export 5,000 pallets, allowed the company to double the volume of fruit introduced into the US market, reaching 2,000 tons this year.
This growth responds to the market diversification policy that the company carries out and, as Rotella commented, “on the other hand we have continued with shipments to non-traditional markets, such as Brazil and Mexico, where Citrusvil gradually tries to consolidate itself as a leader of these markets ”.
In turn, the Indian market opened at the end of the season, which, according to the Commercial Manager, “although Argentina is not expected to export significant volumes, it is still an alternative to explore and develop.” In this regard, Citrusvil is carrying out some negotiations to carry out the first operations in Japan and India in 2020.
“Citrusvil will seek to continue working with the homogeneous quality that characterizes it. We remain as a challenge to devote ourselves to the development of new markets, such as India, and to advance in others such as Brazil, Mexico, Far and Middle East, as well as to continue growing in volumes in the North American market, taking full advantage of the installed capacity of our packaging destined exclusively for this destination ”, concluded Cdr. Rotella
With a very low carry over and high prices, we started the 2019 season with high expectations since, although in 2018 the volumes of fruit for grinding were high, the shortage of previous years left the market avid for industrial products, thus tracting the demand.
However, the delay in the beginning of the harvest and the low quality of the fruit for export, as a result of the intense rains, caused an over-supply of raw material in the industry, consequently generating an excess of production.
In addition, competing countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Bolivia, increased fruit processing and increased their market share, generating an over-supply that caused a slowdown in our sales of lemon-derived products.
Despite this context, we continue to focus our efforts on offering a differential service for our customers, developing new business strategies, as well as products and applications. “With service and new ideas we must captivate customers to choose us or continue to choose us,” said Alex Nolte, Commercial Manager of Industry of Citrusvil.
Our R + D + I (Research, Development and Innovation) team is constantly working on the creation of specific solutions to meet market requirements. This year they presented the 5x concentrated lemon oil and the lemon terpenes, two innovative products that added to add value to our industrial portfolio.
We permanently invest in continuous improvement, with the commitment to remain a reliable supplier, guaranteeing transparency, quality, responsibility, stability and sustainability in each link of our value chain. “It is our position as leaders that drives us to assume an important position towards the new harvest. The effort and dedication of all those who compose Citrusvil, is the best tool to continue on the path of sustained growth ”, concluded the Manager.
In order to account for our responsible sourcing practices, we were audited under the Sedex SMETA format, a methodology of high quality audits that verify all aspects of business practices, covering four main areas: Work, Health and Safety, Environment and Business Ethics.
Likewise, our farms applied for the first time to the control criteria of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI Patform) platform, obtaining the highest qualification in the Agricultural Sustainability Assessment (FSA-Farm Sustainability Assessment).
Citrusvil incorporated new technologies in its industrial plants, in order to provide them with greater flexibility in view of the diversity of the campaigns, and to maximize the fruit’s processing performance.
Citrusvil carries out tasks of optimization of agricultural machinery to generate better working conditions on farms, achieve sustainable production management and gain competitiveness in the market.
Citrusvil designed and incorporated new technology to optimize the registration and control of harvesting personnel.