Venezuela: Heinz wants to double production in 2018
- François-Xavier Branthôme
- 2018 Season - Read in french
In the context of a promotional plan for the 2018 harvest, the Heinz company has supplied 27 million seeds to growers in several locations (Guárico, Lara, Apure Cojedes and Portuguesa) in order to supply its San Joaquin factory.
For more than 55 years, Heinz has contributed to the development of tomato cultivation in Venezuela, thanks to the special harvest plan from which a number of large and small growers have benefited. For the 2017/2018 season, the surfaces planted with processing tomatoes are due to be increased by 50% compared to those of the 2016/2017 season. Production should reach 30 000 metric tonnes (mT), which will be processed into 3 000 mT of pastes.
Heinz is attempting to reduce imports of the main raw material required for producing ketchup, by each year supplying the tools, and the logistical and technical support required to increase and improve the harvest of tomatoes for processing. The 2018 harvest plan includes 632 hectares cultivated by approximately 60 growers. This plan is intended to guarantee the national production of ketchup and a number of other products.
There are two stages included in the 2018 program. The first of these concerns the agronomic side of operations, with growers selected for their capacity and their commitment to the food industry. The company chooses and supplies the seeds, helps prepare and transplant the seedlings, and supplies the fertilizers and health inputs, right up to the harvest, which is expected to stretch over seventeen weeks. The second stage involves technical assistance for growing the crop, the harvest itself and processing the crop into paste at the factory, over a period lasting about twelve weeks. This year, Heinz supplied all of the seeds, all of the inputs (fertilizer and plant-health products) and irrigation equipment (including drip irrigation) and has committed itself to buying the crop.
The 2018 harvest promotion plan also includes the installation of an extra evaporator, which will increase the processing capacity of the plant.
The harvest promotion plan is part of the activities developed by Heinz in the context of its social responsibility involvement in several countries. The United States, Spain, Australia, Portugal, Brazil and Venezuela are all part of this initiative, whose objective is to ensure the availability of the raw materials required for manufacturing the brand's best-known products, particularly ketchup, paste and tomato purée, pasta sauces and sauces for pizza. The program will benefit growers and other sectors involved in the industry, like transport, distribution and food production. It will also benefit countries on a wider scale by promoting agriculture and national production.