Nic Jooste Cool Fresh International

With the fresh produce business moving away from its traditional modus operandi – which almost always excludes small growers from the ‘real’ value chain – Cool Fresh International’s worldwide experience in supporting small farmers to achieve bigger crop volumes, better-quality products and direct access to the world markets has helped the company find a solid synergy with Agrovictoria’s extensive agricultural infrastructure, strong management and technical skills in Peru.

By combining forces, Agrovictoria and Cool Fresh International are able to do four things. First, they can provide small growers with a professional, market-driven approach to international fresh product marketing. Then they can introduce the small growers to new developments and concepts in retail markets. Third, they can improve product availability and quality for international retail clients. Finally, they can create commercial opportunities for all stakeholders – a principle that is crucial to success in terms of corporate social responsibility.

To further that mutually beneficial partnership, Alta Gracia (‘higher grace’ in Spanish) is being constructed to address the issue of existing packing facilities in the region, which are not able to accommodate the sharply increasing production volumes of recent years. Furthermore, it is of specific interest to Agrovictoria and Cool Fresh International to provide packing support to the small farmers of the region, and to create direct access to the world markets on their behalf.

Agrovictoria and Cool Fresh International believe that Alta Gracia’s unique selling proposition is the fact that it creates many flexible options and exciting strategies, which are all focused on assisting Peruvian small growers to create a sustainable future.

Moreover, an important by-product will be the positive impact the project will have on the social development of the community in Ica. This will be achieved by drawing on the lessons learnt from Stars in their Eyes, the very successful corporate social responsibility
project coordinated by Cool Fresh International in South Africa.