08.07.2013

From San Juan to the world, raisins for export

Lomas del Sol, a company from the province of San Juan, is engaged in the production of raisins since 1979. It could expand to international markets with a high-quality product, and has supplied its product to more than 10 countries worldwide. To be able to penetrate new markets, Lomas del Sol, decided to optimize its process for industrialization of raisins. For the purpose of obtaining certification of its production it improved its drying capacity and included traceability procedures and new materials for its productive process.

From San Juan to the world, raisins for export 1

The company Lomas del Sol implemented several improvements in its production process.

Once this cycle has been completed, they are carried and stored in dry and dark warehouses until their full ripening. During this last step, they are divided and stored in different containers under strict standards of quality and hygiene.

Although this process implemented by Lomas de Sol for production of raisins was productive, it had several technical problems that needed to be solved to apply quality standards and to be able to obtain a certification of its production.

The greatest difficulties were related to the scarce technology (mechanization) of its production process and low training of human resources, in particular its workers. In addition, there was a great atomization of producers and industrial manufacturers.

To solve these production inconveniences and to achieve high-quality products, Lomas del Sol decided to take a qualitative leap in its products, so it decided to apply a financial instrument implemented by the COFECyT: The credit line for Federal Projects of Productive Innovation (PFIP).

 Through the financing obtained, they could access new technologies for drying and de-hydration of fruit, vegetables and aromatic herbs used to ensure the quality standards demanded by international markets, especially in Asian countries (such as China and Japan), the European Union and Oceania.

Under a strict work plan that took eight months, Lomas del Sol purchased an automatic device to dose its product in grape stem and rachides removing machines. It also changed its speed adjustment system for the belt conveyors, replacing plastic materials used for carrying and intermediate storing of raisins by wooden containers, and it trained its workers to use such new tools.

This set of innovations allowed, among other things, to avoid breaking the skin of raisins, which frequently occurred due to friction when removing stalks, generated by their friction when they are poured suddenly and discontinuously.

Thus, significant improvements were generated, both in the amount and quality of raisins. In turn, they could ensure traceability procedures to allow tracing a product to its production chain, a fragile process for manufacturing food, where the materials used for product transport and packaging are also taken into account.

Innovation for growth

Financing granted by COFECyT allowed this company from San Juan to incorporate innovations for its production, which benefited its growth as a SME and let it trade its products in new international markets.
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The company Lomas del Sol implemented several improvements in its production process.

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