Cecinas Llanquihue, one of Chile’s most important cured and sausage meat producers and located in southern Region X, will begin exporting to Argentina in January or February of next year, general manager Enrique Modinger announced in late October.

Supermarkets in Buenos Aires and southern Argentina have sought out the Chilean sausage meat producer due to the demand from expatriate Chileans, he said.

Modinger added that the company is optimistic about its prospects in the Argentine market, noting that the per capita consumption of cured and sausage meat is only 7 kilos in that country, compared to 15 in Chile.

Cecinas Llanquihue was founded in 1955, although the owners, the Modinger family, began the trade in 1911. It produces 7,000 tons of curedand sausage meats a year, with 150 different products, including special products, such as vienesas, a type of frankfurter, and longanizas, a type of spicy pork sausage. It has a 20,000 cubic meter production plant in Region X, and has its own beef and pork producers which supply 100% and 15% of its meat respectively.

The company estimates sales of over US$22.7m for this year, up 5% on 1999. It was not particularly affected by Chile’s recession as most of its products are directed to the ABC1 category.

Cecinas Llanquihue aims to increase production to 10,000 tons a year in the near future, and has invested US$4m in the last eighteen months to achieve this target. It is also investing US$3m over the next two years to expand its warehouses in Punta Arenas, Coyhaique and La Serena to improve its national distribution.

By Steve Anderson