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Martex Farms Buys Pango Mango Brand From Fruits International


January 25, 2001
Copyright © 2001 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Martex Farms, the largest banana, avocado and tropical palm grower on the south coast of the island, has bought Fruits International’s 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 Ponce’s Coto Laurel sector was known as the island’s largest mango grower. But, after several months of negotiation, Martex Farms was able to buy two of Fruits International’s farms, consisting of 800 acres and 35,000 mango trees, in Juana Diaz.

Under the purchasing agreement, Martex Farms also bought Fruits International’s headquarters in Ponce, which included the company’s packaging and hot water treatment plants, and the rights to use the Pango Mango brand name.

As for Fruits International’s remaining two farms–one in Coamo and the other in Ponce–Martex 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 island’s 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 farms–three in Santa Isabel, two in Juana Diaz and one each in Coamo and Ponce. It also has two packaging plants–one in Santa Isabel and one in Ponce.

Most of Fruits International’s 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 mangoes–Keitt, 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 Europe’s mango market." There are three peak months–June through August–where Puerto Rico dominates over its closest competitors, Mexico and Israel. In those months, Mexico’s mango season ends and Israel’s season hasn’t 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 partners–brothers Venancio (Veny) and Gustavo and son Veny Luis Marti. Martex began operations in 1989, but it wasn’t 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.
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