Sergio Karagumechian

Compañía Envasadora del Atlántico

Zona Franca Barranquilla

  1. What does your company do?

Cia. Envasadora del Atlantico-CEA is an industrial agricultural complex that process tropical fruits, transforms them into concentrated pulp for industrial use for exportation to 37 countries around the world. We have 23 International Quality Certificates, making us the leader in mango pulp production in Latin America.

  1. Have long have you been in the FTZ?

Since we were founded in 1982 we have been in the Barranquilla FTZ. For nearly 34 years we have been part of the FTZ regime.

  1. How has your company growth been since joining the FTZ?

To be in the FTZ, especially in Barranquilla has been a blessing. We have had easier and more economic access to renewable technology during the most critical moment of revaluation, allowing us to survive with economies of scale. In the FTZ of Barranquilla we have 3 ports within 100km allowing us always to have options in order to deliver on time. In the FTZ we have the facility to quickly find spare parts and maintenance during strikes. Because of the tax benefits we are attractive to investors that were elusive.

Because of all this the company has grown over the last 20 years from processing 35,000 kilos of fruit per year to an estimated 80 million kilos in 2016.

Now we are processing 125,000 kilos of fruit when 20 years ago we processed 35,000 kilos in 110 days.

  1. How many employees do you have?

We feel very proud of the nearly 500 employees we have directly employed in the factory, but what really makes our hearts happy are the nearly 2,550 small farmers families around the country from Guajira to Narino that have had their standard of living raised enabling them to raise their families and have a better quality of life.

  1. What plans do you have for this year in the region?

We plan to continue expanding with incentives for sowing fruit, especially mango, guayaba and maracuya, to keep growing in the zones and increase the volume of our primary agricultural crops. At the industrial level we are about to finish installing a new production line with the most advanced technology currently available in the world. Through the Fundacion Social CEA, we hope to continue working hand-in-hand with more than 14 Foundations and Associations looking to provide a better quality of life in our area of influence.

  1. What is the principle benefit you have received by being in a FTZ?

As I said before, thanks to the FTZ and its benefits, we were able to be dynamic, competitive, grow and modernise when we were facing the big challenge of re-evaluation for our business and the families of the small farmers that work with us.

  1. Do you have more clients by being in a FTZ?

By being competitive we grow and increase our number of clients. Without our suppliers and the FTZ our history would be different. It is a shame the FTZs were nearly stopped when they generate employment, export income and benefits to the population. It is a shame that they don´t appreciate the results because they rush to cover the fiscal deficit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *