Dole Food Company announces the acquisition of the TucFrut farms and packing facilities in the Molina and Linares areas of Chile. The TucFrut property, located 140 miles South of Santiago, consists of five different farms spread over 1,000 hectares (2,400 acres) and currently produces apples, blueberries and kiwifruit on over 660 hectares (1,600 acres).
“With the acquisition of TucFrut we are strengthening our leadership of Dole’s Chilean deciduous export business and diversified fruit operations,” says Johan Linden, President and COO of Dole Food Company. “Dole Chile has been a success story for Dole since the 1980s based on our grower supply and a worldwide distribution under the Dole label.”
The TucFrut farm will strengthen Dole’s current product portfolio with premium apple varieties and kiwifruit. The acquisition will also provide the company’s first own production of Chilean blueberries—a category in which consumption has seen tremendous growth and where Dole holds a strong position.
The purchase also provides Dole farmland that has yet to be developed for production.
“A large portion of the farm is yet to be planted and we intend to plant varieties that will satisfy our customers’ needs in the years to come,” says Francisco Chacon, President of Dole Diversified Fruit Operations. “The TucFrut fruit farms acquisition is the most visible part of our growth in Chile this year.”
In addition to the TucFrut acquisition, Dole has also recently added three additional grape farms totaling over 600 hectares to its long-term grape suppliers. These farms will provide a wide range of the newest and finest grape varieties from the best international breeding programs.
This acquisition is aligned with the company’s push towards investing and upgrading its packing and post-harvest infrastructure as well as improving grower services. This investment is fully incremental to the current supply base and is a further commitment to the Chilean produce industry and the wider landscape of citrus and deciduous produce. It is the continuation of Dole’s long-term growth strategy in Chile.