The lime supply chain in Colombia took a major step forward last Thursday with the opening of Farmfolio’s Valle Verde packhouse facility. Valle Verde is an in-country solution for packing and exporting Tahiti limes from Colombia, a major step forward for an industry that was previously limited mainly to domestic production.
The Valle Verde facility in a Free Trade Zone in Apartadó , Colombia
The facility is equipped with a state-of-the-art packing and sorting line, the most efficient of its kind in the country. This machine is capable of taking up to 3 photos of each individual lime that passes through the sorting module, eliminating virtually all size and surface defects in less than a quarter of the time that it would take a human to. The machine comes to us from Mexico, where it was made by one of the industry’s top companies.
Valle Verde’s packing line machinery.
Another essential feature of the facility is its cooling and pre-cooling chambers, which allow Valle Verde to ship a much fresher, more consistent lime. The cooling and pre-cooling zones consist of 4 chambers which can cool the lime down to 8° Celsius. The final chamber is equipped with a sealed door that loads directly onto the trucks that take the limes to port. The lack of cooling solutions has been a weakness in Colombia’s lime exports generally, and Valle Verde represents a major improvement.
Valle Verde’s cooling chambers are a step up for Colombian lime.
The Valle Verde facility has a number of unique features that separate it from other packhouses in the country. In addition to cooling chambers and sorting modules, the machine can also dry the lime after washing, before the waxing process. This results in a cleaner, more consistent wax. A secondary drying system after the wax also improves the end quality.
Valle Verde’s limes. Neatly packed, uniform color, and cooled during the entire logistics process.
The facility is capable of shipping up to 40 containers of lime per month, although the projections for the Valle Verde private equity opportunity show much more conservative numbers. In addition, our projections show us operating well below the true capacity of our sorting machinery. As we gain more knowledge, it is possible for the Valle Verde project to beat our projections soundly.
Valle Verde’s lime can be loaded directly from the cooling chambers
These unique features have positioned Valle Verde to become Colombia’s most trusted source for Tahiti limes. The country’s diverse landscapes and altitudes make it an ideal origin, but the lack of supply chain integration has posed a major challenge for exports. With Valle Verde, Farmfolio is confronting that challenge. Stay tuned as we drive agribusiness forward!