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Martex Farms Buys Pango Mango Brand From Fruits International
BY EVELYN GUADALUPE-FAJARDO
January 25, 2001
Martex Farms, the largest banana, avocado and tropical palm grower on the south coast of the island, has bought Fruits Internationals Pango Mango brand.
The sale price was not disclosed, however, Venancio "Veny" Marti, president of Martex Farms, said it was several million dollars.
Fruits International located in Ponces Coto Laurel sector was known as the islands largest mango grower. But, after several months of negotiation, Martex Farms was able to buy two of Fruits Internationals farms, consisting of 800 acres and 35,000 mango trees, in Juana Diaz.
Under the purchasing agreement, Martex Farms also bought Fruits Internationals headquarters in Ponce, which included the companys packaging and hot water treatment plants, and the rights to use the Pango Mango brand name.
As for Fruits Internationals remaining two farmsone in Coamo and the other in PonceMartex Farms signed a lease agreement for the combined 900 acres until the company is able to find a potential buyer.
It is speculated that Fruits International will soon cease operations.
With the acquisition, Martex Farms controls 75% of the islands commercial mango production in Puerto Rico. It used to control 30% of the market with its TropiMango and Mango Rico brands. Martex currently operates seven farmsthree in Santa Isabel, two in Juana Diaz and one each in Coamo and Ponce. It also has two packaging plantsone in Santa Isabel and one in Ponce.
Most of Fruits Internationals field workers will continue to work for Martex Farms, which now employs 200 full-time workers and 200 seasonal workers.
"Today, we [Martex] are the largest family-owned mango grower in Puerto Rico and Latin America with over 2,000 acres of orchards," said Veny Marti, president of Martex Farms. "We package over 25 million pounds of mangos, representing 2.4 million nine-pound boxes a year."
The local fruit with the most potential for export is the mango. Puerto Rican mangoes have become popular in England, Holland, Spain, Germany, France and the U.S. mainland.
Martex Farms exports three varieties of mangoesKeitt, Tommy Atkins and Parvin. The Pango Mango brand dominated the German, Dutch and French markets, while TropiMango and Mango Rico sold in the English, Dutch and Spanish markets.
"Puerto Rico is an important mango supplier in Europe," Marti said. "The island supplies 15% of Europes mango market." There are three peak monthsJune through Augustwhere Puerto Rico dominates over its closest competitors, Mexico and Israel. In those months, Mexicos mango season ends and Israels season hasnt begun.
Future projects for Martex Farms include selling packaged mango slices and a carbonated refreshment called Mango Rico.
Martex Farms S.E. consists of three partnersbrothers Venancio (Veny) and Gustavo and son Veny Luis Marti. Martex began operations in 1989, but it wasnt until 1991 that the company had 1,000 acres in process of development.
Martex Farms main crop is the banana. Most of Martex Farms bananas are sold locally to Amigo and Pueblo and Xtra Supermarkets. Other clients are in the Virgin Islands and the cruise ships. It also produces avocados, tropical exotic fruits and tropical palm trees and ornamental plants.
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.