PUNTA ARENAS, 1 July 2020. ProChile has announced that following two years of negotiations, the demanding supermarket chain Whole Foods Market (WFM) has begun to offer Magellanic lamb from the company AgroMarín in its sales outlets in the United States.
“We are really delighted with this milestone, because it has come at a time when international trade is particularly difficult because of the pandemic and this is recognition of the high quality of the food being produced in Magallanes,” emphasized ProChile Regional Director Claudio Villarroel.
The Magallanes Region is Chile’s principal lamb production area and currently exports mainly to Europe, North America and China. “Lamb from this region is globally unique because the animals are raised outdoors, grazing the vast natural coirón (Festuca gracillima) grasslands on the ranches in the world’s coldest and most southerly area, so its quality is unrivalled,” explained Villarroel.
This first shipment has come about two years after ProChile’s Washington Commercial Office first contacted the WFM chain. “Our team showed them the wide variety of Chilean organic products and in the middle of last year they told us they were looking for lamb, so we put them in touch with two Chilean producers. We also invited them to ‘Chile Business Taste’ and to visit Magallanes,” explained Matías Pinto Pimentel, Chile’s Trade Commissioner in Washington.
Agromarín General Manager Mario Marín Kuzmanic expressed his satisfaction with the welcome this first shipment to WFM had received: “They visited our plant last February and they took us on as suppliers because they were able to see for themselves how the lambs are raised and the excellent quality of the meat. These are animals that graze natural pastureland where no fertilizers or chemical products are used and we don’t use antibiotics either. Furthermore, they are mostly from our own ranches or suppliers who meet these same standards.”
Whole Foods is a chain of supermarkets that was set up in Austin, Texas in 1980. It is the leading chain of natural and organic products in the US, Canada and the UK, with over 400 supermarkets. WFM offers foods that are of the best possible quality and totally organic, without any type of additives or preservatives, sweeteners, colorants or hydrogenated fats.
Agromarín began exporting to the United States in 2013 but this is its debut with WFM. “The product is exported by air freight, chilled and portioned. It is targeted at clients who are willing to pay for a high-quality and completely natural product,” added the manager of Agromarín.
The meat is from animals that are six months old and weight around 12kg when they go to the abattoir, where they are processed into cuts like leg of lamb, chump, shoulder, foreshank and loin. “We expect the volume of shipments to the United States to continue to grow over the next few years,” concluded Marín.