IFU has committed to investing USD 9 million into the agro-logistics company, Broom Frío. The company operates cold storage and packaging services to fruit and vegetable producers in the valley of Ovalle in Chile and is now looking to take its business international. With IFU’s capital contribution, Broom Frío will develop its current activities in Chile and build a new cold storage facility in the north western corner of Peru. This will enable Broom Frío to service its already existing Chilean clients in Peru, and at the same time build a portfolio of local and international customers in the fast-growing Peruvian market.
Developing the local agro-industry
The investment contributes to the development of Chile’s and Peru’s agro-industry. The demand from international customers requires fruit and vegetable producers to focus on growing high-quality crops and investing in new crops rather than investing in capital-intensive cold storage and packaging facilities. Broom Frío can service a variety of crops such as citrus fruits, avocado, grapes, blueberries, asparagus with different harvest seasons, which allows the company to optimize cooling and storage capacity and make use of the assets year-round.
– Offering cold storage and related services close to the fruit and vegetable producers is our core business. Time, particularly cooling immediately after harvest, is a critical factor to the fruit quality and to shelf life in the supermarkets, explained Andrés Nuñez Sørensen, CEO in Broom Frío,
IFU has many years of experience investing in agribusiness companies in developing countries and emerging markets, including Latin America. By teaming up with professional partners, IFU can promote transfer of knowledge in operations as well as management.
– Chile is one of the leading fruit exporters in the world, and through our investment partnership with a competent local partner, we contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of Peru’s agriculture, and do so in a sustainable way right from the outset, said Jakob Anker Tvede, Investment Director in IFU.
People are fundamental to success
For Broom Frío, IFU’s investment provides the necessary impetus to the company’s internationalization strategy. But equally important the partnership includes an ambition of taking Broom Frío to best in class when it comes to corporate governance, environmental and social responsibility.
In Peru, the new facility will be in the Lambayeque region, which in recent years has witnessed an increase in poverty rates. Broom Frío will bring in new jobs and in total the two operations will when fully operational create 250 full-time equivalent jobs. 95 per cent of the employees will be unskilled workers and 35 per cent female.
– Our people are fundamental to our success, and we want to do things the right way. Their safety and well-being are important on their own merits, but also to our competitiveness. Nobody needs to convince me about that. IFU fuels our internationalization process, and as part of that it is necessary to raise the bar on all parameters. Hopefully, we can be a role model in the local community, to our customers and to our competitors, says Andrés Nuñez Sørensen.
Broom is much aware of its role as an employer of women, and the partnership with IFU will also include initiatives, which cater specifically to its female employees. Aside from the immediate benefits to its employees – men and women alike – Broom Frío’s aim of working strategically with gender is part of its professionalization and internationalization process, recognizing that promoting gender equality improves business value.
– In our partnership with Broom Frío we will work together on putting into practice the highest environmental, social and governance standards. This is at the heart of our additionality, and there is a straight line from this work to our mandate to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, concluded Jakob Anker Tvede.