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Provefrut: 30 bountiful years

Dec 13, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Among Provefrut's most sought after products are its romanesco broccoli.

Provefrut’s founders Alfredo Zeller and Francisco Correa started the company with a clear vision in mind: To create an innovative company that promotes a culture of good values with an emphasis on social responsibility. In practice, the two entrepreneurs have nurtured the development of its partners, environmental sustainability and the efficient use of energy resources.

In commemoration of its 30th anniversary this year, Provefrut is embarking on a new chapter, starting with the unveiling of a new corporate image and relaunch of its website that presents its new outlook and branding.

CEO Alfredo Zeller is optimistic about the growth of the company in the coming years, particularly its prospects in Japan, one of the country’s top three markets. Twenty years ago, Provefrut first sold frozen broccoli, its main product, to Japan, which has since become Ecuador’s largest buyer of frozen vegetables.

“We understand what Japanese customers look for, which is why we have been and we will keep on investing in quality. This partnership works because of the consistent quality we keep, the constant supply we are able to provide and the relationships we have taken care of throughout the years,” Zeller said.

Tropicalfruit Export: Connections through quality

Dec 13, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Quality and Service: These are two things that TropicalFruit Export S.A. never fails to emphasize. Set up in 2006, it is a young company, but it has already made a huge mark as an organization committed to do things right, in order to be the best in its field.

With a market of nine countries and counting, TropicalFruit Export does not necessarily aim to be the biggest

TropicalFruit makes sure that all the bananas it exports around the world comply with strict quality standards. Their bananas undergo very close inspection.

in its field. Rather, it wants to become the best in exporting products of the highest quality.

Aside from observing the strictest quality control, its manufacturing process and system is based on social responsibility, environmental preservation, and the health and safety of fruit growers. The combination of those objectives is the reason Japan has become a long-standing, loyal market.

TropicalFruit Export President Edmundo Uribe is extremely grateful for the partnerships that have been built in Japan.

“We really appreciate our relationship with the Japanese. We are proud to open our doors to them and to have been accepted by a culture that we have also grown to love,” said Uribe, who recognizes that the two countries can benefit more from each other in the years to come.

“Some countries stand out for the quantities of their exports. Ecuador, however, stands out for its quality and we hope we can maintain this with Japan,” Uribe added.

COFINA: Beyond chocolate

Dec 13, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Cofina Founder and CEO Julio Zambrano (left) demonstrates how to extract cocoa beans from the pod. Cofina exports its products to 56 countries around the world.

Lauded as one of the worlds’ most sought after fruit crops, the cacao bean has found a natural home in Ecuador. With an abundance of fertile land, the country is an optimal place for planting cacao.

Cofina, a family-owned cacao company established in 1993, is on a mission to show that there is more to cacao than just chocolate. In fact, the company prides itself on the quality cacao byproducts they manufacture such as cacao nibs, cocoa liquor, cocoa butter and cocoa powder.

Cofina Founder and CEO Julio Zambrano is committed to produce and–– maintain the quality of their products, while practicing corporate social responsibility, sustainable operations and environmentally friendly agriculture.

After more than 20 years in the business and succeeding in how ordinary consumers view cacao, Zambrano and Cofina felt confident in venturing into personal care products. As the company continues to innovate and expand, Cofina considers Japan its top overseas market and hopes to form even more partnerships with the Japanese.

“It is always an amazing experience working with the Japanese. They are very friendly and very professional. It would be a pleasure to create more partnerships with them,” Zambrano said.

It's only the best shrimp for Japan

Dec 13, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Environmental sustainability and food traceability have become increasingly important for seafood consumers and governments around the world. As Ecuador’s leading shrimp exporter, Pesquera Santa Priscila guarantees that its products are safe, traceable and delicious.

Pesquera Santa Priscilla has its origins in the 1970s when it started building aquaculture farms (the president is a civil engineer). Over nearly half a century, the company has become not only the country’s

Pesquera Santa Priscila exports more than 77,000 tons of antibiotic-free shrimp to Latin America, the United States, Europe and Asia. This includes Japan and China, among other countries.

largest seafood exporter by volume but also an innovator in industry best practices.

“Ecuador’s aquaculture is unique. We grow our shrimps and tilapias in low-density farms, free of antibiotics and respectful of nature and resources. The fish live in an environment free of stress,” Pesquera Santa Priscila President Santiago Salem said.

Pesquera Santa Priscila joined the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership, an association of exporters who adhere to not using antibiotics. The company also received certification from Aquaculture Sustainability Council, which allows it to export its products to Europe. It has also adopted the latest technology and processes to ensure the traceability of its products.

In 2018, the company exported around 76,876 metric tons of seafood products, a bulk of which was destined for the Asian market, specifically Japan, a country well-known around the world for its uncompromising standards. The company holds around a 70 percent market share in the region. For that year, its revenues reached nearly $700 million.

“The Japanese have been strong and stable partners ever since our commercial relationship began. We value the way the serious and respectful way the Japanese approach their partners and suppliers,” Salem said.

UCE bridges the gap to Japan through science

Dec 13, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Universidad Central de Ecuador in Quito is the largest university in the country and one of the oldest in the Americas. Headed by Fernando Sempertegui, the university is particularly proud of its excellent

Universidad Central del Ecuador Rector Fernando Sempertegui

research and innovation abilities and wants to forge partnerships with Japanese counterparts to maintain its excellent standing.

“We would be happy to strengthen collaborations with Japanese universities and companies in research and innovation,” Sempertegui said.

UCE has excelled in robotics to develop devices for the disabled, cancer research and agriculture. Because of that reputation, Kyoto Kagaku Corp., through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, donated more than $500,000 worth of equipment to its Medical Robotics Simulation Clinic, ranked No. 4 among robotic clinics in Latin America.

UCE’s ties to Japan do not end there. To commemorate the visit of Dr. Hideyo Noguchi to Ecuador in 1918, who pioneered studies on yellow fever and other infectious diseases, the Faculty of Medical Sciences organized an international symposium named after the Japanese scientist.

The event highlighted many advances in medical science and also strengthened ties between the two countries. UCE hopes to build more partnerships with Japan because of its readiness to share its resources and expertise.

Ecuador 2019 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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