Haukur Hafsteinsson, embedded software engineer at Marel, explains how the road to making food proce..
Agrosuper starts up
21 Jan 2015
We did a great job together. If you see what has been done in only eight months, it’s quite an achievement! We had to struggle to get the project ready in time, but Lo Miranda was commissioned in time, just as agreed.
- Ricardo Gomez Errazuriz, Lo Miranda Processing Plant Manager
Agrosuper took a harsh blow during Christmas 2013: a fire caused great damage to the processing plant in Lo Miranda. The day after, a team from the company, among them Marel Stork Area Sales Manager, Lambert Rutten, met to assess the damage. It was clear that the whole plant had to be rebuilt.
Agrosuper responded fast. The San Vicente plant, located about 50 kilometers further south, scaled up to receive the Lo Miranda operators. The commitment and flexibility of all colleagues safeguarded production and labour.
After four weeks of work a team of specialists from Agrosuper, Poch and Marel Stork presented a complete reconstruction plan for the new greenfield poultry processing plant, which was confirmed shortly after with the signing of the contract. To this end, and during the meeting, Andrés Prado Noguera, Manager of Industrial Processes and Projects, Agrosuper, stated that “I know that our 1st September deadline is very challenging. We are in this as one team. Together we will make this happen.”
At the end of January the terrain in Lo Miranda was prepared for construction, and on 1st September 2014 the first broilers were processed.
The brand new high-speed broiler processing plant includes the first GP Live Bird system in Chile, with a new Water Bath Stunner and Killer K15, preventing incidents during the primary process. Lo Miranda also has Nuova automatic evisceration and giblet processing to give first-class evisceration results and the highest quality giblets. Product passes through an air chilling tunnel and an IRIS system takes care of the automatic quality grading of whole birds and their anatomic parts.
The selection and cut-up departments put every product in its most profitable form. The flexible Stork ACM-NT cut-up system produces all the usual cuts. The system is installed on a mezzanine floor, which gives a smooth product flow at ground level.
At this moment deboning is still being carried out manually. The layout and process flow have, however, already been prepared for the installation of a series of AMF-BX breast cap deboning systems, which have already been used at its San Vicente plant for many years now.
Trends in Chile
For many years the whole broiler was by far the favorite way to eat chicken in a traditional Chilean family. Today, Chile has a large young, urban population, a strong middle class, smaller families, which spend less time in the kitchen. Convenience food and single-person portions are very popular.
Supermarkets offer all possible poultry products, both fresh and frozen, marinated, coated, or ‘natural’, as well as other alternatives. Furthermore, new products are constantly being developed because consumers’ preferences are changing faster than ever.
As is the case in many countries, poultry meat is considered a versatile product, a healthy choice, given that health has become a strong driver. So much so that the Chilean government encourages more sustainable production methods and healthier eating. With a consumption of 37.5 kg of poultry meat per capita, poultry products are becoming more popular than beef, a traditional classic.
Agrosuper produces broiler meat, turkey, pork, salmon, and processed products, all of which are manufactured to the highest quality and food safety standards. All Agrosuper brands are available in every retail market in Chile. The most popular are Super Pollo (chicken products), Sopraval (turkey products), Super Cerdo (pork products), Super Salmon (salmon products) and La Crianza (pre-prepared products).
Agrosuper’s export business model is aimed at niche markets with “local” products through brands developed by the company. This approach has identified opportunities abroad allowing the Company to adapt more easily to new markets, different types of customer and new ways of consuming its products.
While exports have been increasing, the strategy has been based on opening offices in the main markets: Italy (2002), United States (2003), Japan (2004), Mexico (2005), China (2005 and 2012), and Brazil (2012).
Main export markets have been the USA, Mexico, the UK, Puerto Rico and China. In 2013 these accounted for 67% of exports of broiler products. The main products were breast filets and wings, mainly exported to the United States, Mexico and the European Union, paws to the Chinese market and hearts to Brazil.
Environmental management is a pillar of strategic development for Agrosuper, and is based on searching for and implementing new technologies, efficiently using natural resources throughout the production chain and minimising the outsourcing of animal production.
For more than a decade, Agrosuper has been committed to sustainable development by reducing CO2 emissions in its production process. To this end, and in line with the Kyoto Protocol, Agrosuper became the first agroindustrial company to issue carbon credits, therefore reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 8 million tons.
Since the beginning, Agrosuper has been linked to its neighboring communities, generating work spaces and creating bonds of trust, promoting sustainable development, through the “We’re Neighbors” work programme.
To this end, at Lo Miranda – where Agrosuper was born – the work carried out can be seen, both in production and community relations. This is where the poultry processing plant was damaged by fire in December 2013, and where now, with the support of the local population and authorities, poultry products are processed again.
Solid relationships lead to success
And with this set up, Ricardo Gomez Errazuriz, Lo Miranda Processing Plant Manager said to the Marel Stork installation crew on site: “We did a great job together. If you see what has been done in only eight months, it’s quite an achievement! We had to struggle to get the project ready in time, but Lo Miranda was commissioned in time, just as agreed.”
The quick work is proof of the excellent relationship between Agrosuper, Poch and Marel Stork, but it is, above all, proof of Agrosuper’s constant drive to succeed and constant drive to succeed and keep on moving forwards.
Marel Stork is proud to be Agrosuper’s technology partner in poultry processing.