Claudio Albarracin, Country Manager for San Miguel in Peru, shares a balance after the first months of operation, and shares some of his expectations for the next months of work.
1. What are your first conclusions after these months that San Miguel has been operating in Peru?
The possibilities offered by Peru have exceeded our initial expectations, both from the agricultural perspective of crops and the business climate existing in the sector. The positive image that peruvian agriculture has built and continues building year after year, based on the recognized quality of its fruits has been a pleasant surprise for everyone.
2. How is the team of San Miguel Peru working?
The first thing to point out is the great level of the Peruvian professionals in general. Regarding our team, we are in the process of connecting and complementing, seeking to achieve high performance. The company has driven us with all its expertise, knowledge and access to the major markets in the world. We, from Peru, contribute to the global business by diversifying the portfolio with avocado and table grapes, a higher volume scale in sweet citrus and an exit to the Pacific Ocean that allows us to reach North America, Europe and Asia in a shorter time.
3. What was the performance of the first harvests of grapes and avocados?
The 2017/2018 grape crop season was successful. We had very good yields for being a first harvest and, mainly, a very good product quality with big grape sizes, which was much appreciated by customers.
As regards the avocado crop season, we have achieved important improvements from previous seasons, working very intensively from the agricultural management, reconsidering a new irrigation, fertilization and pruning strategy. This has allowed us to increase the harvest yields.
I emphasize, as a great opportunity to capitalize on in the following seasons, the fact that that our table grape variety Sweet Globe was welcomed in China, which offers attractive business prospects for the future.
4. Have your initial expectations been met?
Yes. In fact, our initial forecasts have been broadly exceeded. This makes us all very happy, especially with the performance of crops and the general business in Peru.
5. The mandarin crop season is already at its full development: What are the expectations?
Yes, we have completed the Satsuma season and have started harvesting W. Murcott/Tango mandarins, with great expectations and good amount and quality of fruit in tree. We could have a record harvest in the Chincha and Chepén regions, based on the very good performance of the Tango variety in that area of the North.
6. What are your perspectives for the rest of 2018?
For the rest of this year, as I have said, we have to complete the mandarin season, at the same time we have to ensure the grape crop season, where we are in the process of harvest pruning. To work with many different fruits simultaneously is a big challenge that our proffesional team is leading in a natural way.
7. What other challenges await for 2019?
Although this first year was mainly focused on knowledge and on putting together and consolidating teams, next year we have the huge challenge of moving to the stage of developing our operations and making them efficient. All of this, without disregarding the growth opportunities that may arise along the way. This is a great challenge that has just begun.