A new Colombian-Chilean processing plant producing frozen tropical fruits for the international market was launched last week by Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos.

Olmué Colombia, based in Palmira near Buenaventura port, will produce 29,000 metric tons (MT) of frozen fruit and vegetables a year creating 3,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Colombian sugar cane producer Oriente S.A., and frozen and sub-tropical Chilean fruit company Fruticola Olmué are behind the project.

The plant plans to export frozen fruits and vegetables such as mangoes, pineapples, papayas, bananas, melons, strawberries and peppers.

Santos and agriculure and rural development minister Juan Camilo Restrepo Salazar, emphasized the project’s scope and its private capital association.

The project involves planting 5,000 hectares of Keitt mangoes and other yellow varieties in eight municipalities, as well as 3,000 hectares of pineapples and a further 1,000 hectares of strawberries.

Colombia’s temperate weather means it can ensure production of these fruits all year round and the plant is located near key nurseries and fruit growing research institutes in Valle del Cauca region.

Olmué Colombia’s launch co-incides with the 100th anniversary of Oriente S.A whose owner highlighed the plant’s opportunities in the wake of Colombia’s fare trade agreement with the U.S.

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Source: www.freshfruitportal.com