Danper produces asparagus, artichokes, peppers, grapes and avocados for export. The company was established in 1991 as a joint venture between Danish and Peruvian shareholders and has continuously expanded its business. Today it is one of the three largest agricultural companies in Peru.
It was a difficult start, and as so often before the Danish investor faced significant challenges. One was hiring the wrong local manager. In addition to being incompetent, he also turned out to be rather tarnished. For instance a large part of the concrete to be used for the asparagus factory ended up in the foundation of the local manager’s new home.
However, the company overcame the problems. They employed an accomplished female manager, who is still with the company and a co-owner. The factory as well as the sales organisation was established, and in 1994 everything was completed.
Production in former desert
The first production site was near Trujillo, 550 km north of Lima in one of the less developed areas of Peru. The production is based partly on Danper’s own production, partly on vegetable deliveries from approximately 240 local farmers. The crops are produced on more than 5,000 hectares of land – much of which is former desert. The products are exported either fresh, frozen or canned to the large markets in the US and Europe. Consequently, Danper contributes to Peru’s foreign exchange earnings.
“It was a difficult start, but today we have a really good grip on it, and we have a very well-run company, which continues to expand”
Arne Berg, chairman of Danper
Expansion with new crops
In recent years, the company has expanded its production both in the southern and northern part of Peru. In 2011, the company began the cultivation of just under 200 hectares with grapes and avocado in the Chepen area about 200 km north of Trujillo. Additionally, in 2012 a new project with grapes and asparagus was established in Olmos – a 1,000 hectare desert area about 400 km north of Trujillo.
One og the challenges facing Olmos was the establishment of infrastructure and irrigation. In this case, the Peruvian authorities have established irrigation canals of several kilometres and tunnels that can transport river and melting water from the eastern side of the Andes out to the fields.
Employs 11,000 people
The company that started 25 years ago with a small production site and 80 employees today employs around 11,000 people, half of whom are women, and it has a three-digit million turnover in US dollars.
Focus on CSR
Danper has a high focus on CSR. The company continuously educates its employees, works strategically to ensure a healthy and safe working environment and contributes to the development of local communities with water, electricity and health programmes. Danper has won several national and international awards for good and responsible corporate governance. In Peru, the company is mentioned as an example of good corporate governance.
IFU is an important partner
IFU first invested with Danper in 1991. Since then, IFU has contributed with share capital and loans to several of the expansions. IFU has also provided share capital through IFU Investment Partners, which is funded by the two Danish pension funds PKA and PBU.
– IFU is an important partner that has contributed with knowledge and risk capital on an on-going basis, said Arne Berg.