TOMRA Provides Exclusive Details about Latin American HQ
With the recent inauguration of TOMRA’s headquarters for Latin America in Chile, I talked to Jacinto Trigo, Compac´s regional director for Latin America, part of the TOMRA Food family, about the company’s strategy for the region.
How significant is the presence in Latin America and what percentage of the business and revenue comes from this area?
We have a good customer base with TOMRA installations in the region, and it is growing. Today, our business in LATAM doesn’t yet account for a big portion of our global revenue. However, if we look at the growth in the products that we can sort, adding value to our customers: that’s where we see the opportunity. There is an increasing demand for high quality products in LATAM and in export markets worldwide, and TOMRA is the partner of choice fulfil it.
Why Chile and not other country in Latin America? What is the strategy for choosing this particular country?
Chile is the country where we currently have the biggest number of clients with our installations, and where the biggest TOMRA team is based, as a result of the maturity of the business. A few years ago, we made the decision to base our HQ in Chile while investing and hiring staff in countries such as Brazil, Peru and Mexico, in order to ensure our presence in these markets and be as close to our customers as possible. This proximity helps us to get a better understanding of their needs and to serve them in an optimal way. The customer is at the heart of our strategy.
What is the best-selling equipment in TOMRA’s portfolio, for this particular region?
All TOMRA platforms for sorting food. LATAM is the world’s farm and we export to all markets, be they close or far away, all with different challenges. TOMRA’s technology helps producers and packers of nuts, potatoes, citrus, avocados, blueberries and cherries, among others, to build their brand through consistency in the final consumer product. We are proud of our technology and it is the trust our customers have place in us over the years that supports us.
Please discuss the regional training hub established in Chile and the reasoning behind it.
The importance of a regional training center is to be close to our customers and provide them with the training in the use of our constantly evolving technology. Each new piece of technology or upgrade adds value to our customers’ business. By being close to them and teaching them how to get the most of our technology, we help their business success. We have online platforms for distance training, which help at times like these, when travel is not always easy. However, providing training face to face with the operator is a great asset. We are very excited to offer this service in Chile and in the region just as we do in other parts of the world. This facility will connect our customers to our global network of training and technical expertise.
What are your expectations for the future of TOMRA in Chile and Latin American overall?
TOMRA have a significant and growing number of installations in LATAM, and we want to delight our customers. Being close to them will for sure help us continue to achieve the high level of satisfaction that is a core value for us, and provide the technology that will deliver the best value for their produce. It will also allow us to have spare parts and expert engineers close to them. To truly understand our customers’ challenges, we need to be close to them, wherever they are across LATAM, and we are making significant steps forward in this direction.
Please discuss the importance of the synergy between the three entities (TOMRA, Compac and BBC) in Latin America.
We are all part of the TOMRA family, and we want our customers to be aware of this: most of them grow and pack different categories that require different TOMRA sorting platforms, and we are a one-stop shop capable of meeting all their needs. For example, we have customers here in Chile that pack nuts, blueberries and cherries who have all the platforms across TOMRA Food in their plants. Bringing the TOMRA family together will enable us to offer a greater presence on the markets, as we will cross-train our technicians to better support our customers. Our customers will benefit from having a single point of contact when it comes to grading their produce. Having access to large global and local teams of engineers who can learn from each other’s expertise of the different legacy brands, makes us unique.
What are the main for potato processing LATAM countries?
LATAM is an important region for potato processing plants. There are several multinational and local plants installed in the region and we have several French Fries companies investing heavily recently, mainly in Brazil and Argentina. The largest Brazilian French Fries factory will invest in a new production line and, in addition to this, a large multinational company has decided to build another complete French Fries factory, which will boost the local production. It is important to say that TOMRA has been chosen a relevant partner for both of these big important projects.
What are the processors’ needs for TOMRA’s equipment, specifically in Brazil?
In Brazil we can find different situations depending on the segment. Some processors are looking for the latest technology and data analytics in order to increase the efficiency in their plants; others are still using manual sorting and looking for improvement and automation. TOMRA has a wide portfolio to provide the answer to different applications and different stages of the customer’s needs. This means that TOMRA can offer solutions to companies that are taking their first steps in automating their production line as well as those that are looking for the latest advanced technology in the market. Brazil definitely has a significant potential for growth in the LATAM region.
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.