Cargill Inc. has acquired a leading chicken company in Colombia, marking its foray into that nation’s protein market.
The Minnetonka-based agribusiness giant announced Thursday the purchase of Pollos El Bucanero S.A. — or Bucanero Chicken — for an undisclosed sum. The company is a consumer brand, selling packaged chicken and processed meats in retail stores and through food service channels.
Bucanero has been in the chicken business for more than 30 years and has grown quickly. According to its website, the company has the production capacity to process 9 million birds every 70-day cycle. Before the Cargill acquisition, Bucanero invested about $100 million in modernizing its production facilities, according to an article in Dinero, a Colombia-based business news magazine.
Cargill appointed Jorge Ivan Duque, who has spent 12 years working in the poultry sector in Central America and Colombia, as general manager of its Pollos Bucanero business.
It will operate under Cargill Protein Latin America, which has businesses in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
“Cargill is starting a new stage in Colombia, under the Bucanero brand, which is recognized and preferred by millions of customers across the country,” Duque said in a statement. “Just like Cargill, this is a family business. We are confident that this will be a smooth integration and will lead to numerous benefits for our employees, customers and communities.”
Bucanero, which sources from more than 170 farms across Colombia, employs about 5,000 people in the country. These employees bring Cargill’s total workforce in Latin America to 35,000 across 14 countries.
“As we enter this market, we bring the experience gained from working in protein across four continents for more than 50 years,” said Xavier Vargas, president of Cargill Protein Latin America, in a statement. “This global presence, and our extensive work in other regions of Latin America, provides us a wealth of expertise in quality standards and an understanding of cultural taste differences. We look forward to delivering on the preferences of Colombian consumers and enriching their protein options.”