In 2022, it announced further backing from lead- ing sustainability investors – including responsAbility Investments and Avenue Capital Group – as well as a joint venture called Fruitist & Paradise between The Fruitist, its U.S. sales arm, and Berries Paradise, a leading Mexican grower-exporter. Here Magami discusses the road ahead for Agrovision, the changes he sees in the ways blueberries are marketed, the increasingly important role of new genetics, and the rising interest from private equity in the produce sector. The following interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. What would you say have been the keys to Agrovision’s growth and success? Our mission was to transform lives while we were trans- forming and developing land. There was so much desert land that had never been developed due to a lack of water access, fully remedied by the government-backed Olmos We knew if we could deliver consistently, we would end up generating much greater consumption and penetration. Ultimately, this led to our vision of what we saw as the opportunity to develop a business that could have 10% of the global industry over the long term.
Irrigation Project bringing water from the Atlantic side to the Pacific side of the Andes via tunnel. Our commit - ment has always been very strong around social impact and sustainability. We were able to build a culture that was obsessed with quality, and we were able to build a strategy that was based on a 20-to-30-year horizon. And when you’re able to operate with that long of a horizon, you can make decisions differently than, for example, if you are private equity-controlled, dictating a five-or seven-year horizon. So, we, as a founder-led organization, were able to make all the right decisions with that long-term vision, which was to develop products for the markets as we saw the markets themselves growing. And not only to capture the growth in the markets, but also to help bring the con- sumers a better eating experience. We knew if we could deliver consistent products year-round, we would end up generating much greater consumption and penetration. Ultimately, this led to our vision to develop a business that could have 10% of the global industry over the long term, focused on delivering premium varietals 52 weeks a year in all key markets. Taking a 10% share of the blueberry market is a very ambitious goal. We clearly see the opportunity. It’s our goal to consistently deliver that better eating experience to consumers and to deliver value to all of our stakeholders, the communities in which we operate, our employees and our shareholders. We believe we can deliver on those important objectives and achieve 10% of the industry in a very integrated way. What would you say are the main benefits of entering the produce industry from your investing background? Agriculture is not an easy industry to get right. Even the most experienced players in the industry that we have a lot of respect for - whom we’ve watched and from whom we’ve learned carefully - have not been able to avoid chal- lenges. As a financier, you really need to be an operator and an entrepreneur for a long period of time to get deep enough to get it right, and financiers rarely have that background. Having that combined background of invest- ing and operating as an operator is really powerful. It’s allowed me to understand human and capital allocation at Agrovision at a different level than I could have had I come from agriculture originally, or had I stayed in finance and not gone deep into the industry.
40 Vision Magazine
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