It was until February 11 of last year one of the most modern plants within the structure of the Sancor cooperative. As of that day and after a transfer process, in early March 2019 it passed into the hands of the company Adecoagro, which, with a strategy based on foreign trade, has allowed the establishment to grow in the quantity of processed milk and in exports.
With the objective of having reached the reception of around 500 thousand liters of milk per day, the plant located in Morteros is exclusively dedicated to the production of semi-hard cheeses and powdered milk.
Although both dairy products are sold both domestically and for export, shipments take more than half of the production.
“In the case of powdered milk, we export approximately 70 percent; while in the case of cheeses, we market 50 percent abroad and the other half is sold in the country, “said Diego del Carril, Director of Communication and Human Resources at Adecoagro.
In the domestic market, the plant produces cheeses with its Las Tres Niñas brand and also for third parties.
In addition to sourcing from dairy producers located in the east of the province, the company also supplies its own three dairy farms located in the south of Santa Fe, where it produces around 310,000 liters per day.
In September 2018, Adecoagro had presented a formal offer for 45 million dollars to buy the dairy establishments of Morteros and Chivilcoy, in the province of Buenos Aires, from the Sancor company.
The sale of both plants was confirmed, after the dairy cooperative approved the transfer in October of that year. The operation also included the Las Tres Niñas and Angelita trademarks.
According to Del Carril, the objective of the company in the Cordovan plant is to continue adding value to the milk it produces in its farms, in order to continue offering top quality foods that are very competitive in the domestic and foreign markets.
In the middle of last year, the dairy plant was in the process of searching for more milk suppliers, in order to achieve the goal of processing almost 500 thousand liters of milk per day. The plant has a processing capacity, according to the company, of 940 thousand liters of milk per day.
According to data from the Argentine Dairy Chain Observatory (Ocla), last year the national milk production was 10,343 million liters, of which almost 80 percent was destined for the domestic market. The rest was marketed abroad.
Of the total milk processed by the national dairy industry, the majority goes to cheeses – it represents 46 percent – and powdered milk (30 percent).
Of the 330 thousand tons of dairy products sold last year abroad, 50 percent corresponded to powdered milk and 21 percent to cheeses.
Dairy exports contributed $ 927 million last year, eight percent less than in 2018, of which $ 349.2 million were generated by operations with milk powder and $ 132 million by shipments of cheese.
The list of national dairy buyers is led by Brazil, with 32 percent of acquisitions, followed by Algeria (17.9 percent), Russia (13.5 percent), Chile (6.7 percent) and China ( 4.2 percent).
According to a report by Rabobank, the world cheese market has grown by one million tons in the last five years, with China as the main customer.
Agroindustry: A national giant
Adecoagro is listed since 2011 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Created by a group of professionals, Adecoagro was born in 2002 from the comparison of 74 thousand hectares in the country, with the aim of producing food and renewable energy.
In 2004, it landed in Uruguay and Brazil, and in 2011 it began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Currently, it produces more than two million tons of products such as ethanol, bioelectricity, sugar, rice, milk, corn, wheat, sunflower and soy.
The original text of this article was published on 03/14/2020 in our printed edition.