Colombia 2018 | INDUSTRY | COLUMN

TBY talks to Sergio Karagumechian, General Manager, Compañía Envasadora del Atlántico (CEA), on the sector.

Sergio Karagumechian

What has been the evolution of the company over the last 36 years?

CEA is an agro-industrial complex that processes tropical fruit, purees, and concentrates for industrial use. Around 98% of our sales are for exports and 2-3% are for local productions. Today, mangoes represent more than 95% of the total sales of the company; CEA is the home of the world-famous Magdalena River Mango. Today, people lean toward natural and organic products. As a large portion of our farmland has not been contaminated by chemicals, we have been able to develop the organic products sector and have seen the greatest growth there.

What is your strategy to increase local consumption?

Our target for 2018 is to sell 4% of our mangoes in the local market. It is a tiny market compared to the international one. We are working with the top five juice companies in Colombia and are promoting an increase in the percentage of juice in their drinks. That needs to be worked on in Colombia from an institutional standpoint; both the private and public sectors need to work on this. Farmers also need to be aware that they have to supply local companies as well.