Del Monte signs JV with Spain’s Nice Fruit

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DUAL-LISTED Del Monte Pacific Ltd. (DMPL) said it recently signed a joint venture with Spain-based Nice Fruit SL to adopt technology that can enhance the preservation of its fruit products.

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In a statement, DMPL said that the deal will include the construction and operation of a new modern facility in the Philippines that will utilize Nice Fruit’s patented technology called Nice Frozen Dry.

Nice Frozen Dry is a patented technology which allows fruits, vegetables and produce to be picked at its optimal ripeness and frozen for up to three years while preserving its nutrients, structure, original properties and organoleptic characteristics.

The technology has received various awards: Catering and Food Service Award for 2014 at the Salon International de L’alimentation (SIAL) or the Global Food Marketplace, as well as five awards at the Alimentaria International Salon in Barcelona.

The joint venture will also include the processing, marketing and selling of Nice Fruit frozen products to various countries in the world.

The joint venture will be 51-percent held by Nice Fruit, 35 percent by DMPL, and 14 percent by financial investor Ferville Limited who will be an instrumental partner between the DMPL and Nice Fruit’s agreement.

Nice Fruit operates worldwide and is engaged in the production and distribution of fruits and vegetables.

With the introduction of the Nice Frozen Dry (NFD), Nice Fruit is anticipating changes in consumers’ food consumption habits, and advantages for export and improved food stock management.

DMPL is listed on both the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and the Singapore Stock Exchange.

DMPL incurred a $21.9 million net loss in the May to July period of its first fiscal quarter due to acquisition-related expenses by its US-based company Del Monte Foods Inc. (DMFI) for $1.68 billion, done in February.

The company owns the leading brand Del Monte across food and beverage categories in the Philippines, as well as in India via joint venture firm FieldFresh Foods with one of India’s largest conglomerates Bharti Enterprises.

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