COLOMBIA - Agriculture
President, Cargill Colombia and Central America
Xavier Vargas is responsible for the development, presence and business activities of Cargill in five countries: Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Colombia. He has extensive experience in the protein business, having joined the company in 1996 as management trainee in Honduras. Over the course of 20 years, Vargas has held positions in different areas in Central America. He has a degree in food engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and has an MBA specializing in marketing and finance.
Cargill has placed bets on Colombia for a long time, and now, more than ever, it has increased its stakes. Cargill entered Colombia more than 50 years ago in the feed and grain business. In 2017 and 2018, we acquired two poultry businesses in Colombia and since then have invested about USD500 million in the country. We did this for three specific reasons: the size and direction the country is moving in; making Colombia more efficient in production, with competitive costs of production that we have proved over the past four years; and the people of Colombia. We are great admirers of Colombians because of their entrepreneurship, hard work, the way they innovate, and the way they know how to have fun.
The investments Cargill makes in Colombia to maximize efficiency and operability are to the benefit of the country’s economy. The first way is by investing in ports. With efficient ports and the right technology, you can lower the cost of production. The second is by investing in the internal supply chain of a country, and we have invested in close to four refrigerated distribution centers where we can move poultry from one city to the other. We have also invested in our plants. We have three processing sites in Colombia and move products internally in Colombia. It is extremely important to have efficiency in the internal supply chain as well as external, and we are investing in both.
For Cargill, sustainability is not an option. One of the figures and commitments we have is to reduce the emission of gases, energy, and water usage by 5%. We have also aligned to support the UN’s program for zero hunger. In Colombia, we signed a contract with the solar energy farm and are moving to more sustainable ways of producing energy. We have many ways of impacting sustainability and are fully committed to that in the long term.
COLOMBIA - Industry
Sales & Marketing Director, Western States Machine Company
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