The Business Year

Agricultural exports have benefitted hugely from initial strong domestic growth bolstered by good practices, a recipe that has catapulted many firms to international success.

Roberto Aragón S.

CEO, Ticofrut

Ticofrut’s 30th anniversary will be in 2018. Its founder had the vision to develop primarily orange plantations in the northern region of Costa Rica and process oranges into different types of products, such as concentrate, single-strength juice, and several others. He started in 1988 by developing farms in the San Carlos region and in the county of Los Chiles, which borders Nicaragua. Over these 30 years, the company has transformed significantly. We all knew, at that time, that Costa Rica was a base to grow oranges, but not in commercially sizable operations. However, with that the development of a state-of-the-art processing facility, oranges can be processed and meet the quality and safety specs of international customers. In general, we process our product mainly into frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ), which ultimately ends up in the US and is supplied to the Coca-Cola Company, our main customer internationally. Coca-Cola has only three suppliers on a worldwide basis for orange concentrate and one of those is Ticofrut. We also have additional customers in the US and Europe and ship a significant volume of orange pulp to China. In terms of our orange products, we have the US, Europe, and the Asian market.

Federico Alvarado

Directing General, Alimentos Prosalud

The company was founded in 1973 originally as a sardine producer. However, five years later an opportunity arose to start producing tuna because it was a source of cheap protein and a good supplement. From 1976-1978, Costa Rica went through a crisis, and the company wanted to offer an inexpensive product, and tuna was ideal for that purpose. In 2002, we inaugurated our new production facility in Puntarenas, specifically in Barranca. It was a modern and state-of-the-art 25,000-sqm plant that replaced a 7,000-sqm facility in Cocal. This new plant allowed us to expand into the international market, and we started exporting to the US, Europe, and even Asia. We continued to grow and are currently one of the largest companies in Latin America—no doubt the largest in Central America—in the tuna business. In 2005, we acquired Tesoro del Mar, which at that time was the second-largest tuna producing company. In 2012, we decided it was time for the company to innovate and participate in different types of businesses, and we changed our name from Sardimar to Alimentos Prosalud. We started working aggressively on innovation and on our own R&D department. Now, we sell rice, pesto chicken, and many other innovative products.

Luisa Chacón

General Manager, Luisa Chacón

We started with mango, which is the most favorite tropical fruit. Nowadays we process all tropical fruits such as papaya, banana, melons and fruit mixes with berries, but the star has been pineapples. It has become so important that we hardly process other fruits now. We have been processing pineapples 24/7 to become more efficient, and freeze them with IQF technology in just six minutes the same day they are harvested. This is how the flavor remains the best. The majority of our product goes to industry. Their requirements are stricter because our product turns into a raw material for pastries, yogurt, ice cream, and packaged industries. We do very little retail, perhaps just 3%, as the packing of frozen fruit blends is a business of its own, and most of it is done in the US and Europe. They source different fruits from all over the world, keep inventory, and deliver, as retailers demand it under the super market private brands. At La Paz, we supply this packers, wholesale distributors, and food servicers. This is how we give people the opportunity to eat sweet, freshly frozen pineapple all over the world.



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