Hortifrut has acquired a 75 per cent stake in Proplantas, Colombia’s leading supplier of plant material for the soft fruit sector and a pioneer in the country’s fledgling blueberry industry.
Under the terms of the deal, the companies will create a commercial platform to export Colombian blueberries to Northern Hemisphere markets. The first exports are due to get underway in March 2020.
Juan Ignacio Allende, CEO of Hortifrut, said the alliance “allows us to improve our global commercial position and at the same time add value to our global and continuous berry offering, adding to our portfolio Colombian blueberries of exceptional quality, from a country with excellent transport and logistics and proximity to the main destination markets”.
The deal is the latest move in Hortifrut’s strategy to consolidate its production footprint in Latin America. Following its acquisition of Peru’s Grupo Rocío in 2018, Hortifrut’s production volume is set to reach 100,000 tonnes a year in 2021, and its operations now extend into Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Proplantas, owned by the Afanador family, has around 400ha of blueberry production, which represents almost 90 per cent of Colombia’s total planted area.