Food Drink Franchise - May 2015

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The Best Franchises to Invest In Right Now

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Four Keys to a Successful

Website Redesign


Thinking Outside

THE BOX W E L C O M E T O T H E May issue of Food

Drink + Franchise! It’s May, and this month we’re all about thinking outside the product. We’re always thinking about the latest products and flavors—but what about the packages they come in? It’s not just cans and cardboard boxes anymore. Today’s packaging is state of the art in its ability to keep products fresh and more accessible, and people are working hard every day to develop even better science and technology in the field. This year has seen a breakthrough, so in this edition of FDF World we sat down with Dave Smith, CEO at LiquiGlide Inc, to discuss how the coating could revolutionize every step of the food supply chain. Then once we’re improved the packaging, we’re looking at the way we sell it, offering up four ways to improve your website redesign process so that clients and consumers can best understand what your product has to offer. So read on, enjoy, and think about how you can improve more than just your product itself—because every little thing counts.

Enjoy the issue!

Sasha Orman Editor 3




LiquiGlide Paving the Way to a Smoother Future


4 Keys to a Successful Website Redesign

12 4


May 2015

Top10 Most Popular Canadian Franchises


GJ Gardner




Jaguacy Brasil

Company Profiles EUROPE 28 Heidi Chocolate


BRAZIL 54 Jaguacy Brasil 68 SLC Agrícola

LATIN AMERICA 84 BEPENSA Dominicana 96 Agroamérica

SLC Agrícola



BEPENSA Dominicana

96 Agroamérica



Paving th a Smooth

With a smart ide funding, LiquiG revolutioniz W R I T T E N B Y:


May 2015

he Way to her Future

ea and successful Glide is poised to ze packaging SASHA ORMAN


PRODUCTION PACKAGING IS A necessary and vital part of the food and beverage industry, but up to now it’s always had a certain limitation: the inevitable product loss that occurs when the condiment inside is determined to stick to the sides of the container, never to reach the plate. It’s a dilemma we know all too well–the image of banging on the bottom of an inverted bottle, attempting to coax out just enough ketchup for your French fries, isn’t just familiar, it’s iconic. But a new product breakthrough, LiquiGlide, might just render that situation a thing of the past. Developed by MIT professor Kripa Varanasi and graduate student Dave Smith, LiquiGlide is a nonstick “liquid impregnated” coating designed to keep surfaces permanently slick and slippery. According to Smith, the concept is a lot like oil on the surface of a frying pan. “That’s the same kind of slipperiness that our coating provides—only we can make that effect permanent whereas oil in a frying pan wears off after a time,” says Smith, sitting down with Food Digital to explain the process. “The way that we make that permanent is by trapping the liquid 8

May 2015

in sort of a textured surface, which acts like a thin sponge on the surface. The liquid will get trapped in place through capillary forces, and the result of that is an extremely slippery surface, like oil on a frying pan that lasts much, much, much longer.” LiquiGlide was originally conceived as a solution for the gas and oil industry—but a few formula tweaks to suit different materials opens the product up as a viable solution for a world of industries, and the


How Liquiglide works

consumer packaged goods industry in particular has taken notice. Food waste—and the subsequent packaging waste that results from running out of a usable packaged product too soon—is a rampant problem facing the retail industry. A number of industry players are attempting to tackle this issue in their own ways, from improving storage and changing food displays in stores to developing more sustainable, biodegradable and lightweight packaging. LiquiGlide

holds the potential to add to this conversation by ensuring that consumers are able to use every last drop of the products they buy. Food waste–and the subsequent packaging waste that results when contents won’t pour out completely– is a rampant problem facing the retail industry and its consumers. “LiquiGlide can practically eliminate food waste where it’s applied,” says Smith. “Any sticky condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, salad 9


“We see the inherent value that LiquiGlide’s technology can bring to the world – from saving consumers money to cutting manufacturing costs and even saving lives” Stephen Ireland, Principal at Roadmap Capital,

dressing—with all of these things, people usually throw away a good amount of the product. 5 to 10 percent of the product sometimes will get thrown away. That’s a lot of waste that could be saved by using our coating.” Of course there are always safety and health concerns when it comes to food packaging, especially products and formulas that would coat the inside of a bottle or can. But the mutable 10

May 2015

nature of LiquiGlide’s formula promises a coating made with food safety and consumer health in mind. “We’re very careful, and the brands we’re working with are very careful,” notes Smith, explaining that the company looks at materials that are already food ingredients, like vegetable oils, as the base for food-compatible coating. Applications for LiquiGlide extend beyond consumer packaged goods,


with potential throughout the food production supply chain from start to finish. “Anywhere you can think of a viscous liquid., there is a potential application for liquid impregnated surfaces,” says Smith. LiquiGlide is also seeking out opportunities in the agriculture industry, allowing for better flow and reduced cost and water usage for acrochemicals like herbicides and pesticides, as well as applications in food manufacturing. “Materials have to be pumped through pipes and tanks, and they stick to the equipment and need to be cleaned up from time to time—that cleaning takes a lot of time, a lot of labor, a lot of materials, cost, and a lot of water is used in the cleaning process,” says Smith, relating LiquiGlide to the food processing and manufacturing industry. “There are a lot of benefits that LiquiGlide can provide from a cleaning and waste point of view. It also can allow for materials to be pumped through pipes with much less energy, as the products can easily slide through the pipes.” Even a bright idea with limitless potential can be lost without capital backing to propel that theoretical potential toward practical reality. This

year, LiquiGlide reached a milestone in its history by achieving just that vote of confidence—in March, the product secured $7 million in funding from Roadmap Capital, a cash infusion allowing LiquiGlide Inc. to move into a state-of-the-art laboratory and take its growth to the next level. “We see the inherent value that LiquiGlide’s technology can bring to the world – from saving consumers money to cutting manufacturing costs and even saving lives – and we confidently stand behind the company, which we truly believe is changing the way liquids move,” said Stephen Ireland, Principal at Roadmap Capital, in a press release announcing the partnership. This development paves the way for substantial growth, of which LiquiGlide is keenly aware. Potential partnerships are in the works with food brands, with the company hoping to make an official announcement by the end of the year, and introduction into manufacturing plants seems similar close at hand. Living in a world where one can easily extract ketchup from a bottle will be a strange one, for a time. But it’s a welcome one. 11




Approaching the design and layout of a new e-commerce website is a difficult task that can quickly unravel by ignoring the most important stakeholder: the customer.

W R I T T E N B Y: T O M P R I T C H A R D



R E TA I L This article was originally published on e-commerce blog The Good. LEADING THE WEBSITE redesign of a brand e-commerce site can be like walking in front of a packed golf driving range. With various stakeholders trying to drive the redesign to meet their needs or carve out real-estate for their initiatives it can feel like taking fire. But don’t let the wants and desires of others replace those of your online customers who pay the brand’s bills. Instead, work with these stakeholders’ ideas, but use customer research and data to keep the focus of the site on the customers’ goals and away from internal interests. Step out of the box Every website is unique. While there are no doubt UI and UX conventions that should be adhered to in order to help guide visitors through your site, there is no formula out there that can spit out the perfect website. Ignore the latest Top Ten list of web design trends that promise to turn your site into a conversion factory. As an e-commerce manager your path to success is through blocking out external noise while researching your 14

May 2015

“Enormous amounts of food are bein globally – at least 1.3 billion tonnes e

customer. Before you even think about wireframes, it is critical to do your research in identifying: • What customer profile segments make up the majority of your current traffic? • What pain points exist for new customers trying to learn about and purchase your product?


ng lost and wasted each year”

• What pain points exist for existing customers visiting your current website? • What questions does customer service frequently hear from customers? • What supporting content is most helpful for your different customer segments?

Identifying your customer and their needs There are a number of sources to learn more about your customer base that can be employed during the discovery phase of your website redesign. Digging into these four areas will lay the foundation of your research and should be referenced throughout each phase of the redesign project. 15




January 2015


• • • •

Web Analytics Customer Service User Testing Internal Resources

Identify Internal Stakeholder Needs Your internal team members have needs, recommendations, and design ideas that need to be heard and if the data agrees, acted upon. Internally, ideas are going to be thrown around loosely and the multitude of visions for the site will cause the project to unravel quickly. Developing buy-in across departments isn’t easy and may require compromises, but it is necessary to actually launch the new site. Once the site is launched, testing and refinement offer opportunities to revisit any Stuck Points™ prior to launch. Be armed and dangerous While supporting your internal teams is important, you shouldn’t do so at the expense of your customers needs. This is where you, as an e-commerce manager, need to lean in, with all your weight, on the data you have collected. Arm yourself with answers to these

questions: • What does a typical new user arriving on your site want? • What does a returning customer who already knows what they want to buy, want? • What does an engaged email opener visiting your site want? • What does a user clicking through an affiliate discount code to your site want? • What does a user who visits your website after learning about your brand from a friend want? Let your online users drive how content is prioritized and how the website should be laid out. Your job relies on conversions from customers, so don’t let the noise of outside influences disrupt the ultimate goal of serving those that make or break your goals. Otherwise, you will end up right where it all began with another underperforming website. Tom Pritchard is a digital strategist and producer for The Good, an ecommerce and lead generation advisory. He writes regularly to help brands of all sizes improve their online sales. 17

TOP 10

Most Popular

CANADIAN FRANCHISES Written by: Sasha Orman

With 10 provinces and three territories spanning millions of square miles, Canada is among the most diverse and expansive countries in the world, and from ketchup chips to poutine it has a food culture all its own. It also has an extensive network of proudly Canada-owned franchises—these ten, compiled by Canadian franchise directory Be the Boss, are the largest, taking their brands of pizza and coffee throughout the country and going beyond to represent Canadian hospitality to the world.


TOP 10


Extreme Pita


Booster Juice

Established: 1997 Units: 236

Established: 1999 Units: 285

Everyone the world over is interested in healthier fast food franchise options, and that sentiment is no different in Canada. This interest has helped Ontario-based Extreme Pita thrive on its concept of healthy and fresh pitas and salads. helped take the brand to the next level, boasting more than 500 locations today.

Compared to many of th Louisville-based Texas R relative newcomer on th But with only two decad it, the Western-themed claim 400 locations acro


May 2015




Coffee Time

Established: 1982 Units: 300

he names on this list, Roadhouse is still a he casual dining scene. des of growth behind chain is already able to oss 46 states.

Tennessee-based Ruby Tuesday is more than just an easily recognizable name, it’s an institution along the East Coast where the chain has grown. Today Ruby Tuesday has more than 850 locations—and while only about 10 percent of its locations are franchised, those franchises have helped it reach a number of markets overseas.


TOP 10



Mr. Sub

Boston Pizza

Established: 1968 Units: 317

Established: 1964 Units: 348

Toronto-based Mr. Sub (formerly the more formal Mr. Submarine) was born out of the hippie era and ideal of high quality fresh food that’s both delicious and accessible. Toronto responded positively to the chain, and Mr. Sub has been growing steadily ever since. Under the guidance of parent company MTY Food Group since 2011, today Mr. Sub boasts over 300 locations and prides itself on its long-lasting relationships with its franchisees.

For more than 50 years, Pizza has made a name over-the-top pizza creat connections with its com charity and service. The to passion and innovatio Pizza secure its place as coveted franchises.


May 2015



The Second Cup Ltd.

Established: 1975 Units: 360

, BC-based Boston e for itself through tions and earnest mmunities through e chain’s dedication on has helped Boston s one of Canada’s most

Second Cup is well known throughout Canada as one of its largest dedicated specialty coffee franchise brands, a formidable competitor to larger international domestic chains like Tim Hortons as well as international chains like Starbucks. Focusing on the specialty market, Second Cup carries a “globally local” philosophy of social responsibility, and is committed to concepts like Fair Trade, Organic and Rainforest Alliance certifications for its coffees and teas. This commitment has resonated with Canadian consumers, helping Second Cup grow to 360 locations across the country with more around the world.


TOP 10


M&M Meat Shops Ltd.

Established: 1980 Units: 409 Unlike most of the franchises on this list, M&M Meat Shops (Les Aliments M&M) is not in the business of fast food or coffee—M&M Meat Shops is a specialty frozen foods retailer. While the chain was founded to provide consumers with quality flash frozen meat, M&M Meat Shops has since expanded to offer a range of frozen products from meat and seafood to heatand-eat pastas and entrees. Founded in Kitchener, M&M now has a presence in all 10 provinces throughout Canada.


May 2015


Country Style

Established: 1962 Units: 500

Canada can be a cold pla of quality coffee chains h Founded in Toronto in 19 one of the oldest and larg the country. In 2009 Cou by MTY Group, the same company that runs Mr. S paved the way for brand franchising and co-brand even more rapid growth.



Pizza Pizza

Established: 1967 Units: 724

ace, but its proliferation help take the edge off. 963, Country Style is gest coffee chains in untry Style was acquired e quick service parent Sub—this deal has revitalization, additional ding opportunities, and

Consumers in the United States might recognize “pizza pizza” as the slogan for Little Caesars. But in Canada, the phrase means something different—it’s the name of the country’s most popular pizza franchise chain, Toronto-based Pizza Pizza. A fan favorite in the Toronto area for decades, the chain started expanding rapidly throughout the rest of Canada by the mid-2000s to become the largest Canadian pizza chain in the country. In honor of its growth and performance, this year Pizza Pizza was honored with a 2015 Hall of Fame Award from the Canadian Franchise Association. 25

TOP 10


Tim Hortons

Established: 1964 Units: 3,500 Was there ever a doubt? With 3,500 locations throughout Canada alone, Ontario-based Tim Hortons is more than just a breakfast franchise—it’s a Canadian breakfast institution that dominates the competition, and now it’s more ready than ever to become a global institution as well. Last year’s controversial merger with Burger King leaves Tim Hortons poised for even more massive growth, offering the resources needed to grow Tim Hortons substantially in the United States and overseas markets. But no matter how large Tim Hortons grows, it will always be Canadian at heart. poised for even more massive growth, offering the resources needed to grow Tim Hortons substantially in the United States and overseas markets. But no matter how large Tim Hortons grows, it will always be Canadian at heart.


May 2015


HEIDI CHOCOLATE replicating its success to a wider audience Written by: Sam Jermy Produced by: James Pepper



The premium chocolate brand is looking to enhance its presence in all of its export countries, especially the territories where it has experienced substantial success upon recent market entry


March 2015


eidi Chocolate is looking forward to the next growth phase of its history, as the brand begins to strengthen its relationships with new and existing retailers across the globe. The company was originally set up as a non profit in 1994 by Swiss chocolatier and entrepreneur Jurg Läderach, whose family founded Confiseur Läderach, the famous producer of premium chocolate and confiserie products in Switzerland. Now the Heidi Chocolate brand is coming of age on its 21st anniversary since operations began, having a presence in nearly 50 countries across the world from Canada to China, with the bulk of business coming from within Europe. Testament to the success of the organisation is the fact Läderach decided to sell the business in 2013 as he had decided his mission for Heidi had been accomplished. The firm was bought out and is now owned by parent company KEX Confectionary, also owner of the Kandia and Niemetz Schwedenbomben brands. Franco Del Fabbro, Managing Director of Heidi Chocolate, said: “It has taken a lot of hard work over the years, where Heidi started out modestly with some old equipment from Switzerland. But today we have a turnover of approximately €18 million, 420 staff, and sales in nearly 50 countries with half of that turnover now coming from outside of Romania. It is


significant progress and an achievement to be proud of. “We continue to be an end-to-end business, where we purchase ingredients, manufacture and sell directly. We have a sales force that calls on the key customers and we distribute from our own warehouses to them inside Romania. For some countries we have exclusive deals with specific customers, so we deliver and manage the relationship directly through an export group team. Other countries we have an appointed exclusive distributor who deals with the local retail chain. “We are number two in the Romanian chocolate bar segment after Milka, which is a good position. However, you can only grow single digits a year depending on category and market condition. With exports, even though we are at a relatively

â‚Ź18m Turnover at Heidi chocolate

w w w. h e i d i - c h o c o l a t e . c o m / e n


H E I D I C H O C O L AT E early stage in our presence, we are experiencing growth in the region of 10-20 percent. So that is the driver of our overall growth and naturally impacts our strategy.”

Heidi chocolate line

Position and strategy Not satisfied with resting on its laurels, Heidi Chocolate foresees double digit growth in the next five years. “We are not talking about 10.1 percent either.” del Fabbro said. “That growth is going to be achieved through holding and growing our position in Romania and most importantly establishing ourselves as a clearly recognised

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international brand. The focus of the past few years was conquering new countries, now our focus is to solidify that presence to get a better foothold in order to thrive. “Overall business is solid, go to any big retail chain in Hungary or Poland and you will see our products properly displayed on the shelf. Other countries we have just entered; for example in the UK we started doing business with Asda at Christmas. “The cost of cocoa has sky-rocketed and with the British pound getting stronger, it compounds the problem and remains one of our challenges. We source cocoa from the Altimarkas and Barry Callebauts of this world as we are still too small to have a direct link with the actual bean production, but we are looking to implement a more direct supply chain from Africa in the future.” Heidi recognises that international expansion requires a more world-focused mind-set, but relationships such as the ones it has with Turkish hazelnut farmers and Moldovan walnut producers has already been in place for many years. Investment in future The future development of the company is clearly more towards the export market. Central to this is the intention to retain a high percentage of hand craftsmanship for its chocolate product. Bespoke hollow figurines and personalised chocolate bars are tailored for retailers and consumers, and Del Fabbro claims this is something their mass producing, multinational competitors have more

“The focus of the past few years was conquering new countries, now our focus is to solidify that presence to get a better foothold in order to thrive” – Franco del Fabbro, MD

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Heidi chocolate meets Florentine 34

May 2015

trouble to achieve, if nothing because of the relatively small scale of each order. But expansion has necessitated cutting edge technology too. Del Fabbro said: “I was tasked by the board with creating a 2020 vision for the


company, outlining where we want to go in the next five years and what we need in order to get there. Part of our strategic plan was a big boost in technology and machinery investment. “Our capital expenditure this year is equal to that over the past three years. The single biggest investment has been the conching equipment, to further improve how the chocolate is made. The second was increasing capacity on specific product lines and the third was to upgrade certain areas and equipment facilities in order to obtain IFS certification by the middle of 2016.” Of course, in production especially there is constant training and there will be a need for that as Heidi receives newer technology. Many employees have served more than ten years, and retention is high. Alongside this, the company recently finalised the creation of the Heidi foundation which serves to help employees in need and offers a helping hand to worthy community projects. Looking forward, Del Fabbro believes the last challenge he faces every day is selecting what projects to pursue. “Enforcing some basic discipline is essential; we need to say for 2016 ‘these are the ten things we will be able to deliver and will make the difference,’ let’s not get distracted by appealing side projects or we may diverge from our strategic journey.” It is a nice situation to have, and Heidi Chocolate looks primed for more success in the years to come as it continues to grow internationally.

Company Information INDUSTRY







w w w. h e i d i - c h o c o l a t e . c o m / e n


G.J. Gardner Homes NZ:

The Team is a Family at G.J. Gardner Homes New Zealan

How one company used continuous improvement to b nation’s top residential construction business. Written by: Ian Hanner Produced by: Bryan Giles

. nd

become a


Harnessing long summer nights can be achieved through indoor and outdoor flow


here are certain things that one can simply luck through in life, be they winning the lottery or not catching a cold. However, nowhere is that principle less true than in the solid business that G.J. Gardner Homes NZ (G.J. Gardner) has been shaped into over time. G.J. Gardner was founded in 1983 by Greg Gardner. According to the G.J. Gardner website, 38

May 2015

a young Greg saw a market in desperate need of a better option in the residential construction company sector; an area that he saw as suffering from a lack of quality options at the time. “Greg commenced his own building company, basing his business around uncompromised quality and value, with homes designed to meet individual customer needs and built to a



committed time frame,” the G.J. Gardner website reads. “The formula was such a success that G.J. Gardner Homes grew to be Queensland’s largest home builder and in 1995 Greg decided to franchise the business with locally owned offices using the same proven formula to build quality homes right across Australia.” In 1997, a key franchisee inquired about opening a G.J.

Gardner franchise in New Zealand, officially opening the door for what would become the country’s number one residential building group. G.J. Gardner Homes in New Zealand “We started [in New Zealand] as a business that hadn’t operated in this market— we had no brand recognition, no base, nothing,” said w w w. g j g a r d n e r. c o . n z /


G.J. GARDNER HOMES NZ Grant Porteous, co-owner of the G.J. Gardner NZ master franchise company. “The company had a reasonable start, but then the wheels started to get a little wobbly, and I was brought into the business in 2002 to run the New Zealand master franchise company.” For over a decade GJ Gardner has dominated the New Zealand building industry and Grant is nothing if not humble. Taking a more hands-on approach to management, his attention to detail and quality above all has shaped G.J. Gardner into a major force in New Zealand in a relatively



short amount of time. Throughout this he has worked closely with his partner and wife, Ellie. “[2002] was when we really looked to change the business and the way we operated,” Grant said. “We refined our values and who we were; the things we wanted to be revered or famous for, both with our clients and within our industry. We wanted to set a new direction going forward and that’s the path we’ve remained committed to.” The journey has not been without challenge but we always remain true to our vision and our ideals. Initially we bought into the


After 50 years and over a billion tiles, Gerard Roofs is Australasia’s largest manufacturer of lightweight steel roofing. A Gerard roof is made up of individual pressed steel tiles installed using a unique fixing system that effectively locks them together to form a single structural unit; the result is a roof that’s stylish, copes with severe weather and lasts a very long time. This ingenious roofing system has been embraced in over 120 countries, including places with some of the most extreme climates and environments on the planet. In Queensland, Gerard roofs were among those least affected by the devastating cyclone Yasi. There are four smart profiles and nineteen contemporary colours and finishes; combinations provide a wide aesthetic choice. A Gerard roof can be specified with a look that works for most architectural styles. Website:

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G.J. GARDNER HOMES NZ company as equal shareholders with three other partners. While the other partners were totally passive in relation to the business, these relationships also caused challenges as many partnerships do. . As of the end of March, Grant and Ellie Porteous secured the remaining 25 percent of Deacon Holdings Ltd; the holding company for G.J. Gardner in New Zealand. This has provided extra stimulus and excitement for the couple to continue to develop the GJ Gardner team in New Zealand. Their desire is to move the group from what they see as a very good


business to a great business. “In comparison to some other building franchises in New Zealand, we have a long-term focus,” said Ellie. “We are the top building brand in this country, yet to buy one of our franchises is often cheaper than to buy one of our competitors. We do that on purpose because we understand some of the issues around setting up a new business. It is paramount that we choose the best people, not those with the biggest chequebook. Additionally we’d rather not have them cashstrapped in the beginning and

Creating spaces planned around family needs ensures longevity of design. w w w. g j g a r d n e r. c o . n z /


Bathrooms and ensuites can be designed perfectly to customer taste.

G.J. GARDNER HOMES NZ prefer they have a long-term focus where they will still be with us in five to ten years, rather than us making more income up front but having a franchise that’s not economically viable.” “Our people, our teams, create our success and bring the vision to reality, so we choose on heart, those with big tickers,” Grant added. “I call them ‘good buggers,’ an old New Zealand colloquialism for real, genuine, hard-working people.” Part of this success is the focus on an old-fashioned, family orientated approach to doing business, backed by a foundation of professional standards, systems and processes. With nearly every franchise being family owned this culture works extremely well.


To ensure smooth business operation, both Ellie and Grant often travel across New Zealand, a country roughly the size of California. They check in with the different franchises and conduct quarterly business performance reviews. When they travel, singularly or together they most often don’t stay at a motel but rather stay with the franchisees, in their homes to get to know their families. “We’re really a business that has managed to develop a fantastic professional team culture and still have, to a degree, a family culture,” he said. “To give you an idea, I was just visiting franchisees up north recently. I had to stay at their homes, that was just a given, I didn’t want to insult them by staying at a hotel. But the eldest sons and daughters came from

“We refined our values and who we were; the things we wanted to be revered or famous for, both with our clients and within our industry.” – Grant Porteous

w w w. g j g a r d n e r. c o . n z /


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G.J. GARDNER HOMES NZ living away to have dinner and a catch-up. So when you’ve got a twenty five year old that you used to know as a ten year old dropping by to have dinner with you, it’s kind of special.” Company Culture Whilst many business owners talk about building a company culture that feels like a family, most fall short in actually implementing that. For Grant and Ellie that wasn’t an option. Why, because family look after family, you help each other through the good and tough times and you don’t let family down. “We want to be revered for being an organization of integrity, and one you can be proud to be part of,” said Grant. “When we walk around in uniform with our brand on our chest we want all our team to be proud to do so. As we travel around New Zealand we frequently have people say to us, ‘Oh, you work for G.J. Gardner. What a fantastic business to work for’ or ‘that’s a great company’ and they tell us a good story about one of our teams building


a home for them or their friends.’ That is what we get all the time. Nothing beats that feeling.” This is a common theme throughout, with many of their supply relationships over a decade old, secured with only a handshake. Grant prides the business on forming effective supply partnerships which reduce cost to serve and increase efficiencies. This attitude of professionalism and ethics is encouraged throughout the entire network, with joint success paramount. “We try not to have too many rules but integrity in our relationships and in everything we do is of utmost importance. Cross that line in the sand and the right to represent the brand ends” “Most things in our business are driven back to ‘Does it add value for our franchisee?’ and most importantly ‘Does it add value for our customer?’ Will it help drive our vision of having every customer recommend us to their closest friend? If not, why would we do it?” Grant said. “When I get to do some work with other franchise groups in New w w w. g j g a r d n e r. c o . n z /



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G.J. GARDNER HOMES NZ Zealand, in the food industry or other sectors, they always tend to have a focus on themselves as a franchisor and their income. They seem like they look down on their team. We’ve always looked at it the other way. Our franchisees’ success is ultimately our success and every one of them actually forms the brand. In any market we are only as good as our local franchisee.” That same consideration is paid to customers through a comprehensive plan that ensures open communication between G.J. Gardner and its clients. The process starts with a speedy response to the customer’s initial inquiry. From there, employees try to estimate the cost for the client as quickly and as accurately as possible, whilst explaining anything the customer is confused about. “We try to answer all questions customers don’t even know to ask, we want to help customers make quick decisions by being well-informed so that when they move into the completed home they have absolutely no regrets, nothing is missed out, and there is nothing


they want to change. “We actually have what we call our Customer Service Standards Protocols in our business, which was agreed by the team to be the minimum actions that we do for every customer,” Grant said. “’We will contact you at these agreed upon times throughout the build; we will invite you to the site this number of times.’” 10,000 Built The dedication to being known not only as an extremely skilled and efficient company, but also as one that cares about the customer’s experience from commencement to completion, is a trait that has already carried the company extremely far. Earlier this year G.J. Gardner New Zealand completed its ten thousandth build, a major milestone along the path the company has walked down for close to seventeen years. . This has been achieved through four to five years of the worst building recession ever seen in New Zealand where permit numbers for the whole country has been as low as eleven thousand per annum. w w w. g j g a r d n e r. c o . n z /



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G.J. GARDNER HOMES NZ Grant is hesitant to assign honour to any one factor but does believe that living the vision and customer service ethos right across the organisation has been critical to that success. He notes you can only deliver on a vision by having great people and that he believes is their leading edge. “I also think it’s been from doing a myriad of things really well,” he said. “We really did drive ourselves on being a great franchise network throughout the team. We are clearly great marketers of our brand in New Zealand. What would be considered a paltry budget by any corporate [in advertising] managed to make us a household name. We invested heavily in our wonderful testimonial and TV campaigns that have been absolute top quality, showing our full range of skills in the homes that we build.” He added, “It’s about being a good support office and helping our franchisees be as successful as they can be in their individual markets, which then creates a greater team and a greater


good. We generally put ourselves second in the income stream, but by doing that, we are rewarded in the long-term.” The Future Grant and Ellie both make it very clear that whilst they don’t have a lot of room left to expand in New Zealand, they’re not finished trying to improve. As part of their standard practices in dealing with customers, surveys are sent out after the completion of every job. These surveys are intended to allow the customer to provide feedback that could help the company improve its practices. Clients are encouraged to rate the company on everything from overall job satisfaction to the attitude the crew had in dealing with them. Whilst the questionnaires are about 60 questions long and all the information collected is important, according to Grant if you don’t get the key questions answered positively it’s game over “would you build with this franchise again?” and “would you w w w. g j g a r d n e r. c o . n z /


Grant & Ellie


recommend this franchise to a close friend for their build?” “What we do after those key questions, we ask them how they would rank the franchise’s performance overall [on a scale of one to ten],” Grant said. “Research shows that if people do not score you above an eight, they are not truly an advocate, even if they said that they would definitely recommend us. We therefore only count the ‘yes’ scores above this level.” That sort of feedback is vital to the organisation, allowing it to respond to criticisms along every step of the company’s journey. It helps shape the vision and direction for G.J. Gardner, forcing Grant and Ellie to ask themselves are we still the organisation we set out to be, are we revered for our customer service standards and are we still leading the group effectively. “We’ve always just had two or three longterm focuses for our brand. For everything we do, we ask ourselves, ‘Who will we be in the next five years?’, ‘How will our business look in the next decade?’ and ‘Will we be able to sit back in our rocking chairs in our 70s or 80s and still see this as New Zealand’s number one building group?’ For now, the company seems to be on track.

Company Information INDUSTRY


North Harbor, New Zealand FOUNDED

1983 Australia, 1997 New Zealand EMPLOYEES

300 nationally, 12 in support office REVENUE

Over $350 Million PRODUCTS/ SERVICES G.J. Gardner Homes was founded in 1983 by a young builder, Greg Gardner. With an emphasis on quality, G.J. Gardner grew to be Queensland’s largest residential construction company. By 1995 Greg decided to franchise the business throughout Australia. In 1997 the company responded to significant interest from potential franchisees in New Zealand and made the jump to an international company. In 2002 Grant and Ellie Porteous bought into Deacon Holdings Ltd, the holding company for the G.J. Gardner Homes NZ master franchise. Since then the pair has run the company with the utmost deference to customer satisfaction.

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Prod for mo

Pioneer in t 20 co

Jaguacy Brasil:

ducing avocados ore than 30 years

the country, company exports to more than ountries and invests in new production lines Written by: Flรกvia Brancato Produced by: Taybele Piven



Partial view of packaging area


aguacy Brasil started its operations in the 70s with the goal of supplying the international market in that decade and carried out its first export in 1980. Specialized in the production, supply and sale of avocado, a few years after the company envisioned new horizons in Hass—a type of avocado—plantations. It was a success. Located in Bauru, State of São Paulo, Jaguacy’s potential was consolidated and a large network with importing partners was created.


May 2015


In more than 30 years exporting avocado, the annual average production is 6,600 tons distributed to over 20 countries, emphasizing European supermarkets commercialization and competing with big players such as the Chilean, Mexican and South African markets. Domestically, Jaguacy sells the fruit in 20 states. In 2014 alone, 660 tons of avocados were supplied to the internal market.

“We try to work with producers and their products in a sustainable way through unique methodological efforts” – Ligia Falanghe Carvalho, Marketing Director and Human Resources of Jaguacy Brasil

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Maersk Line provides the best solutions to reefer cargo, such as Controlled Atmosphere (CA) containers to allow shippers of perishable cargoes to benefit from all the advantages of container transport. Maersk is able to increase the number of commodities suitable for sea transportation, eliminating the need for expensive airfreight and reducing overall CO2 emissions.


Hass Avocado In The Brazilian Market There is a wide of variety of avocado, and Hass is one of them. As the first company to commercialize Hass avocados in Brazil, initially Jaguacy had to invest in marketing strategies aimed at disseminating a differentiated consumption of the fruit in the country. For instance, in many countries, avocado is the main ingredient in soups, salads and the well-known Mexican guacamole, unlike the Brazilian tradition to use it as a desert and other sugary recipes. In addition to its pleasant taste, texture, nutritional value and culinary versatility, the avocado is also a very healthy option. It is good for the heart, ageing, cramps, impotency; plus it balances cholesterol and fights free radicals.

4 kilos avocado box ready to be shipped internationally

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Avocados leaving the water treatment with hypochlorite in order to remove possible residues and fungus that may compromise the fruit


Production In order to maintain the demands of high standards in the domestic and international markets, Jaguacy Brasil is constantly investing in cutting-edge technology and product certifications. Currently, it has the GlobalGAP Seal, which certifies the credibility and excellence of its fruits, and the Tesco Nurture international certification awarded to companies whose fruit or vegetable productions are produced respecting environment preservation norms. According to Lígia Falanghe Carvalho, Director of Marketing and Human Resources of Jaguacy Brasil, the company is always seeking improvements by working close to producers. “We try to work with producers and their products in a sustainable way through unique methodological efforts. We offer consulting services and all the support needed throughout the productive process, ” she explains. Jaguacy Brasil manufactures avocado frozen pulp, guacamole and

Avocados are brushed for field waste removal

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Overhead rail system of Avocado Jaguacy packaging

avocado oil on its four farms, partnering with 30 producers. “The pulp product is still crawling, but the numbers are encouraging. In 2013 we processed 33 tons, in 2014 we achieved 88 tons and this year we are projecting 150 tons,” admits the Director. New production lines The partnership with the company Rancho Simpática—located in Fillmore, California—in 2012, started with the plantation of 50 acres. Today the area reaches 110 acres. Upon inaugurating the Óleo (an American company) factory inside Jaguacy’s production plant, the group started 62

May 2015


to commercialize avocado oil. “Óleo is responsible for the extraction and bottling, with a 4.2 thousand gallons annual production of avocado oil, while the commercialization process is done by Jaguacy,” says Lígia. She also declares that the company is searching for new products. “Besides all that, we are looking into perfecting the lime market, mainly in Russia and Eastern European countries,” she adds. As a continuous improvement strategy, the company also maintains partnerships with international consultants in the production field, invests in networking with all avocado-producing countries and focuses on actively participating in international events on the sector. Since 1987, the company takes part in the World Avocado Congress. Annually, it attends fairs such as Fruit Logistic, in Berlin. Jaguacy is also a chair member of the Avocado Promotion Association (AMAP in Portuguese), which meets twice a year.

Visual inspection for possible imperfections

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“We intend to invest in marketing actions and, together with other large Brazilian producers—like the creation of Abrafrutas— expand to international markets” – Ligia Falanghe Carvalho, Marketing Director and Human Resources of Jaguacy Brasil

Partial view of the packaging area with the overhea

Giving continuity to the positive growth curve, Jaguacy plans on keep steadily investing to promote the increase of avocado consumption in Brazil: “We intend to invest in marketing actions and, together with other large Brazilian producers—Abrafrutas—expand to international markets,” adds Lígia. The director concludes optimistically, “Through the plan of growing our own, as well as third-party orchards, we are processing a larger amount of fruit, and committed to the development of our office in Holland, we have been able to reach more clients.” 64

May 2015


Management Family Business Production Director/ Fruit Process Vitor Falanghe Carvalho Marketing Director/ HR Lígia Falanghe Carvalho Commerce Director/ Adm Tiago Falanghe Carvalho Process Director Pulp/Certifications Julia Falanghe Carvalho Facilities Director/ Maintenance Paulo Roberto Leite de Carvalho

ad rail boxes

Shipping Director/ Logistics

Programs and Partnerships Avocado in the Classroom With the objective of promoting and expanding avocado knowledge, this interdisciplinary program is based on elementary school students’ field trips to Jaguacy’s Farm, where young minds learn about healthy habits.

Maria Cristina Falanghe Carvalho

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Avocados selection process

Brazil Table This program aims at reducing food waste and is based on socialenvironmental actions. The partnership with Brazil Table promotes citizenship and quality of social life through nutritional safety-oriented activities for people living in poverty. Reeducating Project Since 2008 Jaguacy has been promoting a project that hires inmates 66

May 2015


Company Information NAME

Jaguacy Brasil Comercio de Frutas Ltda. INDUSTRY

Fruit production HEADQUARTERS

Bauru, SP - Brazil EMPLOYEES


Avocado; Frozen Avocado Pulp; Frozen Guacamole; Avocado Oil

from Penitentiary I and II in Bauru—State of São Paulo—who are serving sentences under a work release program. The program assists with social rehabilitation, educating prisoners on rights, obligations and remuneration, and offers them the possibility to learn about the structure of a company. w w w. j a g u a c y. c o m . b r


Hi-tech soyb

By using a busi com

SLC AgrĂ­cola:

h and quality producing beans, cotton and corn

iness model based on a modern production system, the mpany is a benchmark in the Brazilian agricultural sector Written by: FlĂĄvia Brancato Produced by: Taybele Piven




ecades have passed since the inception of the first industry of selfpropelling harvesters for grains in Brazil to achieving excellence in technology and quality in production today. This track record of accomplishments by SLC Group is due to SLC Agrícola. As a producer of agricultural commodities, the company is focused on producing cotton, soybeans and corn. It has 16 production units strategically located in six Brazilian states, totaling more than 370,000 planted hectares in the crop year 2014 to 2015. Additionally, it has a commercial area at its head office in Porto Alegre, State of Rio Grande do Sul. According to SLC Agrícola’s CEO, Aurelio Pavinato, the company is a benchmark in both domestic and international markets. “Today we are the world’s largest cotton producers, responsible for 10 percent of production and 20 percent of the Brazilian cotton export. We certainly are among the largest in soybean and corn as well.”

Paiaguas farm, MT


May 2015


Cotton plant ready for harvesting

Operating in the domestic and export markets, the SLC Agrícola brand is synonymous with high quality. Its expertise in the prospecting and purchase of lands in new agricultural borders is widely recognized. The purchase of lands with high production potential aims to capture the Brazilian real estate value to compete with the United States, China, India and Argentina. SLC Agrícola is considered one of the country’s largest soybean and cotton producers. As a result

“Today we are the world’s largest cotton producers, responsible for 10 percent of production and 20 percent of the Brazilian cotton export. We certainly are among the largest in soybean and corn as well” – SLC Agrícola CEO, Aurélio Pavinato

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of its business model, which is based on a modern production system,, unit production standardization, cutting-edge technology, rigorous cost control and socio-environmental responsibility the company enjoys success and recognition. Additionally, the company also operates in the production of other crops such as coffee, wheat, corn and sugarcane. “Having adopted a corporate agriculture model with industrial and efficiency control standards right from the start is what differentiates us. Our goal is to offer the lowest farming cost to be the most competitive player,” explained the President. OPERATING EFFICIENCY The company introduced modern management techniques derived from the industrial sector, bringing competitive advantages that support SLC Agrícola’s position in global agriculture. High productivity: Based on data from CONAB and the United States Department of Agriculture, the company’s productivity of cotton and soybeans is higher than domestic and U.S. averages. Over the past

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Knowledge grows

Brazil, the breadbasket of the world Brazil is already an agricultural powerhouse and the largest single market in Yara. To the challenge of feeding a growing world population, Yara provides nutritional solutions to increase the productivity of farming in Brazil. Fertilizers are essential to optimize performance, increase land use efficiency and mitigate emissions of greenhouse gases. Yara halved the emissions in its fertilizers production.

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five years, for instance, soybean production reached 3,000 kilograms per hectare (6,600 lbs. per acre) against a 2,900 (6380 lbs. per acre) national median and 2,868 (6310 lbs. per acre) in American production. These results are mainly owed to: cost structure and efficient operational cycle, production technology with high mechanization of cultivation and harvest processes, utilization of the crop rotation system, dominance of no-till farming techniques and experience in soil composition correction and seed selection. Plus, SLC Agricola hopes that the introduction of transgenic seeds might increase productivity and reduce production costs, especially with pesticides. “The sectors have been modernized in many fronts, amongst which we can highlight the improvement of seeds, especially the genetically modified type, and precision agriculture, a more current concept that encompasses diverse technologies such as the ones employed on combine harvesters,� commented Pavinato.

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Strategic and diversified location: The portfolio of SLC Agrícola’s properties is diversified with strategic localizations on its 15 farms spread across six “cerrado” states, regions known for their hills: Goias, Mato Grosso, Maranhao, Mato Grosso do Sul and Bahia e Piaui. This location diversity reduces potential regional climate risks and disease incidents. Pavinato admits that logistics are a crucial factor in the operational procedure. “The main challenge of the sector is the country’s logistic deficit. We depend on a reliable interstate highway system, but in many regions, roads do not have proper maintenance. A great part of Brazilian agricultural production is

Management CEO: Aurelio Pavinato Financial Director: Ivo Brum Production Director: Gerson Trenhago Sales Director: Aldo Tisott Sustaitability HR Director: Alvaro Dilli Business Director: Gustavo Lunardi


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moved in and out through ports in the South and Southeast,” he said. Scale and Standardization: The company business model is based on the standardization of production on its several farms. This entails adapting physical facilities, productive infrastructure, adequate equipment, an operational organizational chart, standardized administrative management and agricultural planning. “The Brazilian production inside of farms is very efficient and that is the only possible way to compete with American production where logistics represent very little in total cost,” asserted Pavinato. Soil Management SLC Agricola uses no-till farming as an ideal cultivation system in order to reduce significant levels of soil, water and nutrients loss. With direct drilling

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it is possible to lower the cost of production by reducing the operation of tillage machines. This leads to soil and nutrients conservation, cutting down the need for heavy fertilization. Besides, no-till farming represents a potential productive increase in the long term. RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY Information gathered through research conducted by SLC Agrícola and government agencies is used to plan future crops on the company’s farms. Each one of the 15 farms has a research unit. The most studied topics are: fertilizing and soil management systems, competition of soybean cultivation, cotton competition, corn hybrids and planting season, and fungicide, insecticide and herbicide efficiency tests. These analyses simulate real tillage conditions and are conducted following scientific criteria. Currently, 190 experiments take place annually in an area of w w w. s l c a g r i c o l a . c o m . b r



Soybean pouring into tractor trailer

approximately 1,300 hectares (3211 acres.) In general, new technology applications are related to transgenic seeds and recent harvest modalities by employing a special type of machinery that reduces the number of people involved in the process. When it comes to investments, Pavinato is sharp: “Our focus, in terms of past years’ investments, has been associated to land acquisition and development as well as to supporting the growth of our production structure—such as silos, cotton gin and machines.” 80

May 2015


GROWTH STRATEGIES Based on three main ideas, the company’s expansion strategy is focused on new-farms acquisition, cultivation amplification of the second crop and production increase via lease. By using a market analysis that accounts for size, soil quality, location, climate, altitude, topography, price per hectare (acre,) logistic development potential and documentation standards, SLC Agrícola identifies and purchases properties in the Brazilian “cerrado” with high production potential and market price appreciation.

Corn grain

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Cotton production

“We are finishing the construction of one of Brazil’s largest cotton gins in the Parnaíba farm, located in Maranhão state, where we seek to acquire and install the most modern systems available in the global market for automation operation and product quality control. It is certainly a project that has been bringing innovation to the sector with an increase in efficiency and quality improvement,” stated the CEO. As for cultivation, favorable climate and mastery of technology makes the planting and harvesting of the second crop of cotton, and corn, possible in one crop year. This allows for enlarging the planting area, reducing the cost of the produced unit and crop management technical benefits. The leasing of adjacent and nearby areas to already established farms aims to enlarge the plantation area. This will make possible to increase production by using the existing structure and to reduce fixed and 82

May 2015


Company Information INDUSTRY


Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul - Brazil E S TA B L I S H E D



R$1,34 bilhão

production unit costs. Plus, the initial investment should be much lower. “SLC Agrícola’s plan is to grow in cultivated areas within the next 45 years, generating profit and positive cash flow. We have approximately 45,000 hectares (111,150 acres) already purchased for tillage, which should start happening in the next five years,” said Pavinato. “We also forecast growth in leased areas combined with two joint ventures we have with Group Soares Penido and Mitsui,” stated the CEO.


Production of cotton, soybean, corn, coffee, wheat, corn seed and sugarcane

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Bepensa Dominicana: Amidst a Sea of Opportunities Coca-Cola’s operation in the Dominican Republic is a resourceful unit transcending financial accomplishments by contributing to its community and environment.

Written by: Mateo Rafael Tablado, Associate Editor Interview by: Rebecca Castrejon, Editor Produced by: Taybele Piven, Director of Operations in LATAM for WDM Group Interviewee: Juan Amell, CCO for BEPENSA Dominicana w w w. b e p e n s a - b e b i d a s . c o m




Bepensa Dominicana Sales Convention 2015

Bepensa Dominicana, a global brand bottling company

he Coca-Cola Company’s long-time licensee for bottling and distribution in the Dominican Republic had been Refrescos Nacionales, S.A. In 2006, the company was acquired by southeast Mexico’s giant Grupo Bepensa, and changed its name to Bepensa Dominicana, becoming the corporation’s first venture beyond Mexican soil. Currently, Bepensa Dominicana has a 50 percent market share in non-alcoholic beverages on their side of the island. The country’s weather and location provide opportunities for growth in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Supported by the local population’s steady demand, Bepensa Dominicana finds itself in the best-case scenario to continue increasing its production and distribution network. The bottler’s success in bringing revenue and also creating openings for new jobs allows for developing new ways of interaction with consumers and engaging in matters involving the community and the environment. It may be a common thought that being a domestic bottler and distributor for a brand as important as Coca-Cola brings instant success. Maybe, but it also brings along responsibilities like keeping up with global standards. Bepensa Dominicana has become the first Dominican company to achieve four international certifications for their best practices, constant


May 2015


quality and care for the environment. These are ISO:14001, ISO:9001 OHSAS:18001 and FSSC:22001. Bepensa Dominicana is no stranger to accolades such as the Dominican Republic’s National Quality Award, the maximum award given to companies in the private sector for their environmental efforts, lifestyle, health and community developments. The company produces and distributes 12 brands, including Coke, Country Club, Canada Dry, Powerade, Powerade and others. “We strive to keep contributing to our country’s industrial, social and financial development,” said Juan Amell, Chief Corporate Officer for Bepensa Dominicana.

Key People

Juan Amell CCO for BEPENSA Dominicana Amell is an industrial engineer. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Santo Domingo Tech Institute and his M.S. at Georgia Institute of Technology. He was first hired in 1995 by Refrescos Nacionales and became involved in the distribution, sales, marketing, supply chain and key accounting departments within the company during his now 20-year tenure. His results and work ethic earned him consideration in 2015 for the CCO position in the venture now known as Bepensa Dominicana.

Bepensa Dominicana in celebration of 4 certifications: OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001, FSSC 22000 and ISO 9001 w w w. b e p e n s a - b e b i d a s . c o m




Employees: Xxxxx Established: Xxxx Industry: Xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxx xxx xxxxx xxxxx. Services: Xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxx xxx xxxxx xxxxx. Ongoing Projects: Xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxx xxx xxxxx xxxxx Management: Xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxx xxx xxxxx xxxxx Website: address goes here as the last entry



Amell, hired in 1995 by Refrescos Nacionales, is an industrial engineer. He earned his B.S. at Santo Domingo Tech Institute and his M.S. at Georgia Institute of Technology. He’s been involved in the distribution, sales, marketing, supply chain and key accounting departments within the company.

Bepensa Dominicana headquarters

“I’m proud to work for an organization whose motto is ‘surpassing high expectations’,” the executive stated. Clear Objectives Within The Territory Goals for a Coca-Cola licensee such as Bepensa Dominicana are designed according to its territory. Searching for new opportunities and clients, hence growing its distribution network is one of its main purposes. Other endeavors include management of new and existing products and developing new and better ways of reaching out to consumers.

Inside Bepensa’s production facility

Conditions Demand Supplier Development Operating on an island certainly demands special considerations in logistics and supply chain management. Tasks such as storage, imports and shipments become very relevant. Bepensa Dominicana does its best at reducing some of these expenses by developing local suppliers, able to fit into the Coca-Cola system’s supply chain and quality standards. Supplier development efforts by Bepensa have brought w w w. b e p e n s a - b e b i d a s . c o m



Coca-Cola bottling company licensee Bepensa Dominicana executives; upper-level management for the bottling company: Jeremy Faa, Ignacio Ponce, Fernando Ponce, Andres Zentella. Photo by Luis Ruiz Tito/Presidence of the Dominican Republic

“We strive to keep contributing to our country’s industrial, social and financial development” – Juan Amell, CCO for Bepensa Dominicana


May 2015

more than savings for the company. They’ve had a positive impact by creating new job openings with Bepensa’s suppliers. “We have focused on working with local enterprises, aiding their development for fulfillment of our company’s needs,” Amell explained. Specialized Staff A work force of 2,700 in-house employees and 15,000 parallel workers contribute to Bepensa Dominicana’s operations. Regular technology deployments and standard updating by CocaCola demand continuous training and skill upgrade for this workforce; an effort undertaken successfully by Bepensa.


Tour of Bepensa Dominicana’s recently-opened facilities Photo by Luis Ruiz Tito/Presidence of the Dominican Republic

“There is plenty of talent and capability among locals to join and develop alongside our company,” the executive said. Driving Force in Environmental Awareness and Sustainability

They also produce Jugos del Valle

Complying with domestic and international laws and regulations is the company’s starting point towards its efforts to contribute to the improvement and well-being of the environment and community. PET bottles’ weight has been reduced 35 percent. Awareness about recycling is being raised among consumers. Most of the material used by Bepensa Dominicana—glass, plastic, cardboard—is handled afterwards by specialized recycling companies. In a joint effort w w w. b e p e n s a - b e b i d a s . c o m



Coca-Cola Christmas celebration in the Dominican Republic

with the country’s Network for Corporative Support Towards Environment Protection and the Inter-American Development Bank, Bepensa Dominicana created a program supporting organized waste collection of solids. The program has already been implemented in east Santo Domingo, Samana and San Pedro de Macoris. It is projected to improve the quality of life of 40,000 households, including those of individuals whose recyclable waste collection is their main support. Also, following their commitment to give back to the country’s environment, Bepensa


Dominicana’s production facility has its own water treatment plant. And that’s not all. The company also established a partnership with the Nature Conservancy Association (TNC), creating a water protecting program in four of the Dominican Republic’s main rivers (Ozama, Haina, Nizao y Yaque del Norte). Part of the program’s goals include sanitizing more than 84 million gallons by 2016 and maintaining this rate in order to become a water-neutral enterprise by 2020, along with the rest of the global Coca-Cola production facilities. “Bepensa Dominicana is a socially responsible company, committed to improving the quality of life of the communities we work in,” Amell said.

Company Information NAME


Beverages: Non-alcoholic drink bottling co. HEADQUARTERS

Santo Domingo Este, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana FOUNDED

Past, Present and Future: Commitment to the Country


Currently, Bepensa Dominicana distribution serves 70,000 clients. As long as the market grows, the company will be able to increase its production and distribution capacity and create new jobs. The company is far superior to PepsiCo in the Dominican Republic and has earned Mexico’s Grupo Bepensa’s trust.


USD $180 million WEBISTE

“For us at Bepensa Dominicana, it is important to keep a commitment to the country’s financial stability, create new job opportunities and keep up with our production and distribution standards,” summarized the CCO. w w w. b e p e n s a - b e b i d a s . c o m


A Sustainable Operatio Benefitting Nature and the C

AgroAmerica’s leadership in banana and palm oil productio business aspect, setting an example of caring about the en workforce and their community.

Written by: Mateo Rafael Tablado, Associate editor Interview by: Rebecca Castrejón, Editora en jefe Produced by: Taybele Piven, Operations Director for Latin America at WDM Group Interviewee: Bernardo Roehrs, CCO for AgroAmérica

on Community

on goes beyond the nvironment, their



Aerial view

“Production of organic goods brings technical challenges in order to accomplish the same quality and production levels which consumers demand” – Bernardo Roehrs, CCO for AgroAmérica

he magnitude of AgroAmerica’s operation is a result of more than 50 years of focused development. Besides enviable production amounts and exports of banana and palm oil, the company’s network has become a stronghold comprised of fellow banana and palm growers, trade-related government agencies, domestic and global business chambers and NGOs with global presence. The company’s interactions provide of production optimization, raising environmental awareness, improving the quality of life of their employees and creating a positive outreach in the surrounding community. 12,000 workers carry on AgroAmerica’s mission across Guatemala, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, United States, Mexico and Costa Rica. Growers, Shippers, and Making the Most Distributors AgroAmerica’s business units are: · Fruit production, distribution and commercialization (organic and conventional banana, mostly), including logistics and transportation · Palm oil production and processing · Investments within the area: including partnerships with entertainment, fast food chains and renewable energy company. · Partner in a commodity Hedge Fund in the US Certifications, Awards and Other Accolades AgroAmerica is recipient of multiple certifications


May 2015


for product quality, best business practices, CSR and care for the environment, among other attributes. The company’s merits have been acknowledged by Guatemalan government agencies of the trade, NGOs with global presence, domestic and foreign commerce chambers within the banana and palm oil trades, the Rainforest Alliance, UNO affiliates such as FAO, UNEP and UNAIDS are also witnesses to AgroAmerica’s practices, and even Walmart and Kroger -the U.S.’s first and second largest retail chains- have shown appreciation to the company as an excellent supplier with exemplary corporate social responsibility. Strategic Partnerships Aside from business alliances, AgroAmerica struck mutual cooperation partnerships with domestic and foreign colleges, such as: Univeristy

AgroAmerica is one fo the largest growers, shippers, and distributors of banana in Latin America

Key People

Bernardo Roehrs CCO for AgroAmérica Roehrs, an agronomist, graduated from Honduras’ Panamerican Farming School in the early 1980s. He has earned masters’ degrees in business management and other subjects related to the food sector. He has worked for important Central American companies such as Pantaleon, Almacenes Paiz, La Fragua, Mayacrops and Walmart Centroamerica in different departments: purchases, marketing, accounts, regional management, among others. Roehr is a member of different chambers and associations within the trade; in fact, he has been appointed chairman at some of these groups. He’s also a professor in University of the Isthmus executives’ masters program.

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of the Isthmus and Rafael Landivar University -both in Guatemala, and also with Spain’s University of Navarra and Colorado University in Denver. Regarding their peers, AgroAmerica is a member of the World Banana Forum, World Economic Forum, The Sustainability Consortium, World Food, Business for Social Responsibility, and CentraRSE (from Guatemala), among others. Other partners government agencies such as Social Development, the Labor Ministry, and the Ministry for Food and Farming, among other related entities.

Agroamerica seeks to increase the quality of life of its employees

Human Resource and Community Outreach Besides being actively involved in environmental protection and wildlife preservation programs, AgroAmerica’s most important responsible duties are those directed towards their working

SUPPLIER PROFILE We specialize in heavy transport service refrigerated cargo in complete shipments by land in Central America. As additional services we offer cargo insurance, transport units with GPS, custody, customs bond, for 20 ‘and 40’ chassis, cooling, and fueling office. Our premises are strategically located to facilitate logistics operations. We started operations in 1992 in Guatemala, where Mayria national and international shipments are coordinated. CEO: Rodrigo José Perera Pacas Website: w w w. a g ro a m e r i c a . c o m



Helping their human resource and surrounding communities

“We want to become engaged deeply within the communities where we operate” – Bernardo Roehrs, CCO for AgroAmérica


May 2015

staff, employees’ families and communities around their plantations, storage and processing facilities. The company provides different programs in areas such as nutrition, savings, field trips by doctors and specialists, health awareness and illness prevention seminars, and even pest control campaigns. Upcoming Projects The partnership with Colorado University has brought also tangible projects in the shape of a community center, which is currently under construction in southwestern Guatemala. The facility will host doctor offices to provide consultation from multiple specialists to AgroAmerica workers’ families and the surrounding communities.


Sustainability: WWF and Agroamerica promoting green efforts

The aim of the company’s upcoming efforts, its distinguishing factors and future endeavors were subjects addressed by Bernardo Roehrs, Chief Corporate Officer for AgroAmerica. Roehrs’ experience after graduating from El Zamorano Agricultural College, in Honduras, has seen important transformations within the Central America area. “I’ve always been engaged in farming: exports, production, in management positions, logistics, marketing... always in farming-related activities and in global markets,” commented Roehrs. Business Review América Latina: How is the company’s vision to change with the upcoming development of the organic banana business? Bernardo Roehrs: Production of organic

Human resource

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Bernardo Roehrs, receiving social responsibility award for AgroAmérica

“Our certifications set us apart from other palm oil producers” – Bernardo Roehrs, CCO for AgroAmérica


May 2015

goods brings technical challenges in order to accomplish the same quality and production levels which consumers demand. We are thriving to take on such challenges, bringing our clients and consumers an outstanding product, which end users must get used to, since its production processes are friendlier to the environment. BRAL: Which has been the company’s most important action to increase sustainability? BR: The biggest challenge for us and for the rest of the world is a proper management of water


and water-related resources. Most of our R&D efforts and investments relate to this purpose. We have changed our watering, pumping and other water-related systems; we believe that there’s some real value for our industry. BRAL: Which are the main distinguishing factors for your palm oil within the global market? BR: We are a very efficient company, and certainly our compliance with standards, earning certifications from different entities set us

Productivity Award

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Aerial view of the operation AgroamĂŠrica

apart from the rest. We are certified by RSPO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil), which is not easy to obtain; this certifies our production is traceable. We were the first palm oil producers worldwide to being awarded certification by the Rain Forest Alliance, which foresees fair-trade and fair labor practices, among other processes. And the BASC certification (Business Alliance for Secure Commerce) guarantees that our exports are under constant surveillance in every step and process, so our packages do not become subject to transporting any illegal drugs


or bio-chemical substances used for bioterrorism. These three certifications set us apart from other palm oil producers; some of them don’t have any single certification.

Company Information NAME


BRAL: Do you operate any automation systems in your processes? BR: Only palm oil extraction is under automation. Farming labor within banana plantations and palm are not subject to automation. It’s practically impossible to deploy any automation into these activities to substitute for handwork.


BRAL: Which colleges are currently partnering with the company for scholarships? BR: We provide scholarship funds for El Zamorano farming college and for Universidad del Istmo. We believe that those we are helping now would like to work for us in the future.


Food production, farming and agriculture: palm oil and banana production for cosmetics and food products HEADQUARTERS

Guatemala, Departamento de Guatemala, Guatemala 1958 EMPLOYEES

12,000 REVENUE

Undisclosed WEBSITE

BRAL: How do you perceive the company five years from now? BR: We want to broaden our human team’s skills beyond productivity, but also by becoming able to engage in community activities. We want to become engaged deeply within the communities where we operate. The challenges faced by our company are wholesome, and we must move at the same speed the world does.

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