Equipment & Technology

New TOMRA HQ in Chile Enhances Latin America Customer Service

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TOMRA Food has opened a regional headquarters in Santiago, Chile to strengthen support for food processors and packers across Latin America. The purpose-built facility in the ENEA business park close to the city’s international airport means that TOMRA and its two sister companies, Compac and BBC Technologies, now have a stronger presence in the region.

The 810-square-meter, two-story building adds to the premises BBC Technologies has been operating in Chillán for 10 years with more than 20 employees. The facility features offices, a meeting room, a spare parts store, and a test and demonstration area that also serves as a regional training hub.

Michel Picandet, head of TOMRA Food, stated: “We are growing in Latin America, and Chile is the perfect location for expanding our presence here. The new regional headquarters puts us closer to customers to ensure they receive the best resources, service and support. This large facility hosts both service and sales personnel, affirming our commitment to the future in this region.”

Ken Moynihan, chief executive officer of Compac, added: “Opening our new regional headquarters is another step forward in providing local access to our global network of training, technical expertise and services across the whole Latin American region.”

A spacious demonstration area makes it possible for customers and prospective clients to test machines with their own food inputs. Customers in Latin America who previously wanted to do this typically had to make the longer trip to TOMRA’s premises in California.

The demonstration room in Santiago currently hosts five optical sorting machines: the TOMRA 5A, 5B, 3C, Nimbus BSI+, and Blizzard. In the upcoming months, clients will also be able to test the Compac Single Lane Sorter with Spectrim, UltraView, and Inspectra inspection systems.

Compac customers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru are already expressing interest in testing these machines with products as varied as apples, avocados, citrus fruits, kiwis, mangoes, round fruits and stone fruits.

“We have already delivered many tests for customers on a wide variety of products ranging from fresh and IQF berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, to IQF grapes, green beans, nuts, almonds and seaweed. On every occasion, customers have been impressed by the results,” said Johan Germeys, regional sales manager for Latin America.

If clients or prospective customers are unable to visit Santiago because of Covid-19 pandemic-related travel restrictions or safety concerns, TOMRA makes arrangements to hold tests with virtual demonstrations. Its team is also continuing hold remote meetings and make training tools available online, eliminating the need for personnel to make unnecessary trips.

Thomas Molnar, head of global sales, commented: “A further benefit of the new headquarters is that people from all three of TOMRA’s food-related brands are now located in the same country, working more closely together and exchanging information and ideas. This is going to benefit customers by giving us an even better understanding of their operational challenges, ambitions, and agricultural trends in the region. This is important because Latin America is such a big source in the global supply chain, and still developing.”

With global headquarters in Leuven, Belgium, TOMRA Food has regional headquarters in the USA, China and South Africa in addition to Chile. Personnel at each location are engaged in selling, installing and servicing sensor-based sorting, grading and peeling machines and integrated post-harvest solutions for the food industry. Over 8,000 units are installed worldwide, many in frozen food processing plants that pack value-added potato products, fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood.