An exciting year is in store for JBT’s South America operations, with the introduction of FTNON fresh-cut technologies across the continent and an expanded presence for High Pressure Processing (HPP) from JBT Avure. Added to this, are an ambitious program of seminars, conferences and Open House events, explains JBT’s Vice President and General Manager for South America, Miguel Ruiz.
Ruiz began work with JBT some 28 years ago in the packaging division, before moving on to the citrus processing business and 10 years working with JBT’s protein solutions, and subsequently fruit and juice solutions. Now head of JBT’s South America operations – encompassing Liquid Foods, Protein and AeroTech – Ruiz has responsibility for a wide range of product areas, from frozen chicken and ready meals to passenger loading bridges at airports to juices and beverages and fresh fruits and vegetables.
It is in this latter category that JBT will be making one of this year’s most significant introductions in the region, with the South American launch of JBT’s FTNON solutions for processing fresh vegetables and salads. “We currently have three installations in progress in Brazil, two for vegetables, and we will be bringing a working FTNON demonstration line to Brazil later in the year where we will showcase FTNON’s complete solutions,” says Ruiz.
Another major focus for JBT South America is on High Pressure Processing or HPP technology from JBT Avure, particularly for juice processors. “We’ve been spending a good amount of time introducing HPP technology in the region, and we’re excited about its potential in South America, especially in Brazil and Chile,” says Ruiz. In fact, he reveals that later this year JBT will be sponsoring the first-ever South America HPP regional summit in Brazil, which is likely to feature the participation of a major food university. “We’ll be inviting representatives across the entire food and beveragle industry that might be interested in HPP,” Ruiz adds.
Application-focused Technical Seminars covering the citrus, dairy and tomato segments will also take place during the course of the year.
Open House events
But perhaps one of the most significant initiatives undertaken by JBT in South America are the quarterly Open House events, which take place at JBT’s Araraquara facility in Brazil’s São Paulo State, as well as in San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina. “We open our facility for two weeks and invite the entire sector to visit JBT, taking advantage of the fact that we have all the different JBT technologies being built there,” Ruiz explains. “The Open House events have been very effective in helping deliver the JBT message across the sector, not just to existing customers, but also to other food and beverage processors that might be interested.”
“We typically have one customer per visit, one in the morning and another in the afternoon, so it’s a very tailored discussion with every single customer. This goes for any JBT technology. For example, for tomato processing equipment, we invite companies from across that segment to visit and discuss their issues and how JBT can provide solutions specific to them,” he adds.