AgroFresh expands global footprint with innovation center in Chile
AgroFresh Solutions Inc. announced the opening of a new global innovation center in Rancagua, Chile. The center will be staffed by researchers and operations teams and will support growers, packers, shippers and retailers throughout Latin America with customized operational and technical support services and post-harvest solutions to help keep produce fresh longer, reduce food waste and conserve precious natural resources.
Chile exports more than 2.6 million tons of fruit annually to more than 100 countries making it one of the top exporters of produce and fruit in the world. The country is also at the forefront of adopting new technology and crop production practices, and was the first to successfully commercialize SmartFresh, AgroFresh’s leading ethylene management solution, more than 20 years ago. The center will allow customers throughout the Latin American region to tap into the problem-solving expertise and capabilities of AgroFresh’s scientific and operational experts who are dedicated to helping them improve pathogen protection, maintain fruit and vegetable quality, extend shelf life and minimize post-harvest loss and waste.
“Operational and scientific excellence is the key to providing high-quality services for our customers and we’ll be better able to support the growing produce demand in the region," said Edgardo Castaneda, vice president of operations. "Additionally, with its new state of the art research and lab capabilities and increased capacity, the Rancagua innovation center will serve as a technical hub for the region and the globe.”
The global hub will also be home to some of the world’s foremost post-harvest research and development scientists. AgroFresh will use the innovation center to continue to develop its leading produce freshness product and digital solutions, such as Harvista, ActiMist and FreshCloud. In addition, the center will support the Control-Tec ECO application equipment, which has helped cherry customers in Chile reduce water usage by up to 60 percent during the packing process.
“Serving our customers and working closely together to build customized solutions to help protect produce throughout the supply chain is our top priority," said Narciso Vivot, commercial director of Latin America. "We are excited to leverage these new capabilities and increased capacity to enable us to provide support to more customers and a wider variety of crops well into the future.”
The Rancagua global innovation center is one of AgroFresh’s seven such centers on four continents in key fruit growing regions. More than 40 scientists work together across the globe with universities, customers, and research partners to analyze more than two million pieces of fruit each year. Key findings and learnings are then gathered and shared with key stakeholders around the world. AgroFresh scientists routinely interact with customers and work together to help improve product freshness, quality, and in the reduction of food waste to minimize the impact on the environment.