Name Citrusvil S.A.
Country Argentina

Profile

GGN 4049928669216 & GLN 7798182640000

Citrusvil S.A. was established in the 70s in the region of Tucumán in Argentina as a primary citric producer. In the 80s it added value to its production chain through the incorporation of the packaging and marketing of fresh fruit to international markets. Shortly after, citrus exports rose rapidly making the company one of the pioneering industries in the province.

Citrusvil is a company that seeks responsible growth and the generation of value and capital for its customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders and the community by offering excellent products and services. It owns 16 farms and production facilities located at the piedmont of the province of Tucumán. All of them, totaling 5220 hectares, are GLOBALG.A.P. certified. Currently the primary production provides 230,000 tons/year, projecting to reach 340,000 tons/year by 2020 through the incorporation of the cutting-edge technology, such as:

  • New areas under high efficiency drip irrigation.
  • Radical changes in the nutrition level of the farms, produced through nutritional chemical monitoring of soil and plant material.
  • New production techniques, such as open hydroponics, are applied to make all available resources more efficient.
  • The modernization of the nursery ensured controlled quality and safety of the plants by multiplying dwarfing and semi dwarfing varieties for high density planting.
  • Systematization of fields, phytosanitary treatments and cultural tasks helped to produce sustainable and conservationist citrus.

Our fresh fruit packaging exports 35,000 tons/year to overseas markets. With a 12% of exports of fresh lemon from Tucumán to the world, it is the second largest exporter of Argentina. Our lemon industry processes 330,000 tons/year and exports products and sub-products of lemon such as essential oil, concentrate juice and dried peel. This accounts for a 35% of the industrial activity in Tucumán, becoming this way the first lemon processor globally.

The high quality of our products begins at our nurseries where we follow guidelines on infrastructure set by national legal regulations. In this way, we obtain a better performance in handling the seedlings, providing the necessary care while growing in the nursery. Our goal is to produce plants of excellent quality, and to guarantee their health and varietal certainty–c haracteristics on which their subsequent adaptation, development, longevity, and ability to externalize their full productive potential will rely.

Good farming practices, such as the systematization of farms, appropriate land management, pruning, irrigation, fertilization, phytosanitary treatments, and grass weed control, are carried out by our own qualified personnel in line with high security standards. These activities are performed using suitable machinery and equipment, which is a distinctive feature of the management and control of the land.

The harvest takes place between March and September, beginning with the selection of the lots in the farms to send the fruit to the packing or to the market. For this purpose, we strictly adhere to procedures that allow us to uphold quality, fulfilling the needs of our customers by maintaining safety and labor standards.

Annually, we hire 3,800 employees to harvest the lemon fields, who are hired by contractors that meet legal requirements. As the rest of Citrusvil’s direct employees, these operators receive continuous training. The training provided is intended not only to improve the techniques applied daily at their jobs, but also to optimize health and safety conditions. By the end of the harvest period, the employees who worked on our farms become eligible professionals who return for the next season motivated to work their best.

By using appropriate techniques of ripeness, we reach excellent color and preservation conditions for the fruit in last generation storage chambers, where we can ripen the fruit following the standards of the most demanding markets in the world. Through a modern electronic calibration line, the fruit is selected according to quality, size and color.

The packaging offers brand new technology. This is where the production is classified, packaged and placed in pallets automatically through electronic systems. This enables us to improve efficiency in the management and conditioning of our lemons. Throughout the process, we pay special attention to safety measures in compliance with international standards regarding quality and health of the fruits. (GLOBALG.A.P, BRC, HACCP, ISO 14001-2004, ISO 9001-2008, OHSAS 18001: 2007).

Citrusvil, Don Vicente, Sara Lía, Rio Nío, San Valentín, and La Luz among other brands, are worldwide recognized. Our products are exported in containers to warehouses all over the world through several ports in Buenos Aires. At each of the ports we have specialized personnel in order to ensure compliance with pre-established logistics procedures, thus ensuring that the fruit is loaded and shipped in a timely manner.

Citrusvil is also dedicated to the production, processing and marketing of lemon and its derivatives. The company owns two industrial processing plants with the latest technology. The total processing capacity of the plants is around 300,000 tons per year. Lemon industrialization allows us to obtain essential oils, juice concentrates, dried peel and other sub-products.

Production control is performed through laboratories that check the efficiency of the processes and product quality. Those laboratories have sophisticated measuring equipment to perform physicochemical, microbiological, sensory and chromatographic analyses. We also have a Research and Development Laboratory in pursuit of continuous improvement and innovation.

The investment in cutting edge technology and its use in compliance with safety and quality standards of international level allow us to achieve efficiency in obtaining products that have been supplied globally for 25 years.

We have an anaerobic treatment plant for liquid effluents to produce biogas. The gas is recovered and used in our boilers as a source of thermal energy. This treatment reduces fossil fuel consumption as well as the emission of greenhouse gases through the non-release of methane into the atmosphere.

As regards solid waste, we have a management system that achieves full traceability. Waste is carried to a composting plant where we obtain compost through an aerobic process with controlled physical parameters. This product has a high nutritional value and is used as fertilizer on our fields.

Since December 2010, Citrusvil is the first and only citrus company in the world to have a project registered at the UN Executive Board. This organization verifies the contribution of the shares of the company to sustainable development in the region, the country and the world through climate change mitigation.

Following this corporate policy, we have recently been awarded the prize "World Juice Awards" for the best sustainability initiative, bestowed by the world press specialized in beverages and juices markets.

Achievements

Working for over 40 years in the production and industrialization of lemon and its derivatives, Citrusvil SA has played a pioneering role in the field in the North of Argentina.

All of the company’s 16 GLOBALG.A.P. certified farms ensure the safety of the fruit. In addition to having an integrated quality management system and working within the parameters of already established rules, the company seeks to improve working conditions for employees.

As part of our efforts to improve conditions, chemical toilets were set up for the harvest operators. Through this innovative solution we were able to ensure the safety of the fruit, while providing better hygiene conditions for the employees who work in our fields.

The use of toilets in the fields was always a pending matter. The surface of the fields and the considerable distances that exist did not enable the staff in charge of the harvest to use the toilets. So to solve the problem, and ensure the safety of the fruit was maintained, we sought an innovative solution. We invested in the purchase of modules with six chemical toilets that also include sinks. These portable units are designed to reduce odors and isolate the tanks from the environment, thereby preventing insect access and the spread of diseases. They are cleaned using a mixture of water and chemical concentrates and are transported by tractors to the harvesting fields.

Another factor of innovation in our company is the use of harvest facilitator machines, which represents a significant investment for Citrusvil. By using these revolutionary machines we aim to improve employee productivity by 150%, as well as enhance work safety conditions. Additionally, these improvements and the technology applied achieve an adequate treatment of the fruit, reducing citrus damage to zero.

The lemon crop generates the greatest employment in the province of Tucuman. One of our long-standing concerns was to improve the conditions during the citrus harvest, always considering that it is an exclusively manual activity and therefore carried out by people. Over the years, we have introduced new technologies that have noticeably improved the harvest work. Yet one issue still remains critical in the process of harvesting. It involves the use of ladders to reach the fruit that is out of the scope of the workers hands, which carries a risk (in transferring it to the location of the tree, and also when climbing and descending) and is a frequent cause of accidents. In order to improve these working conditions, we developed a "harvest facilitator" machine that allows us to eliminate these risks and improve productivity.

This machine is the first citrus harvester of the country. It is self-propelled and runs on rubber tracks using a hydrostatic system. The tracks also allow the absorption of irregularities on the ground, without leaving traces and avoiding flat tires. The device has a hydraulic arm system that penetrates the foliage of plants, which extracts the fruit and places it in a hopper. With this machine there is an adequate treatment of harvested fruit, the process does not damage it and does not affect the final quality of the product.

We already have two harvest facilitators working in the fields in daily tasks and eight more in the manufacturing process. We plan to incorporate 40 additional machines over the next three years. Thus, we will achieve the professionalization of the harvest task and we will significantly improve working conditions.

www.citrusvil.com.ar