Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Packing Granny Smith at Cervi

Jorge Cervi, the grandson of Mario Cervi gave us a wonderful tour of his packing facility in Neuquen.  His brother Pablo and sister Cristina, share management responsibilities for the large operation.  They sat down with us for several hours and explained the economic situation for growers and packers.  The government intervened in the wage dispute with unions, and while we were at the office they learned that the minimum wage was increased by 25%.  Bartlett harvest began today and so their cost of doing business rose dramatically.  Still they have an optimistic attitude.  All orchardists need to have a spirit of optimism to stay in the business. They had a story that illustrates why they are optimistic.  In older days the price of a BMW was far out of reach of Argentines.  Yet now with the rise in comodities, 1 KG of Argentine beef is the same price as 1 KG of a BMW.  Either the beef is pretty expensive, or a BMW is alot less expensive than I thought.

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