Aceitera General Deheza S.A. (AGD) was founded in 1948 as an oilseed crushing company, with a 35-ton/day crushing capacity. Today, it has transformed into a modern multi-faceted agribusiness which crushes more than 20,000 tonnes of oilseed daily, has the capacity for 3.3 million tonnes of bulk storage and employs over 2,500 people. It has diversified its business by converting primary production into sophisticated value-added products that are sold in Argentina and exported to 45 nations spread over the five continents.
AGD is a privately owned company, one hundred per cent Argentine, strongly committed to development and production activities within the agribusiness sector with a view to supplying a growing global demand and projecting itself into the future.
Based on this premise, AGD performs all production processes from oilseed growing and crushing up to the bottling and packing of its own products. With a highly competitive technological profile within the dynamic agribusiness industry, it enjoys a unique position in the market due to its integration, diversification and technological excellence.
Within this framework, AGD's logistic chain has become a strategic key to optimize its high productivity and operate efficiently within the local and global markets. Thus, its main aim is to achieve a continuous growth governed by seven fundamentals:
- Training of human resources.
- Integration of production processes.
- Provision of raw materials.
- Technological innovation.
- Reinvestment of earnings.
- Development of a solid logistic structure.
- A genuine competitive commitment.
In addition to its agricultural activities and trading of grain, mostly for export, the industrial group headed by Aceitera General Deheza produces soybean, sunflowerseed and groundnut crude oils, refined bottled oils, vegetable proteins, confectionery and blanched peanuts, peanut butter, mayonnaise and sauces and dressings.
In 1993, the company decided to enhance its business by including hog farming among its various activities. At present, it runs a complete cycle hog farming operation with 3,000 sows in full farrowing age. This farm, fully equipped with ISO-WEAN system, is located on a landholding of its own in the province of Cordoba, near the town of Santa Eufemia.
The Group's main products are
- Soybean, sunflower and peanut crude oil
- Sunflower and soybean, and maize and olive refined bottled oil
- Oilseed crushing byproducts, soybean, sunflower and peanut pellets
- Confectionery grade peanut
- Peanut butter
- Mayonnaise, ketchup and cocktail sauce
The Production Process The operation of Aceitera General Deheza (AGD) and its associated companies is strategically organized in four business units: Grains and Oilseeds, Peanut, Agribusinesses and Brands.
AGD starts its integrated production process by growing grains on approximately 500,000 acres ( 200,000 hectares ) of land, wholly-owned, rented or worked in association with third parties. These lands are located in Argentina´s prime growing zones for soya, sunflower, peanut, wheat and maize. The company maintains strong ties with over 6,000 producers in Argentina´s hinterland, distributing agro-chemicals, fertilizers and seeds, and providing other forms of technical and business assistance.
An extensive logistical network closes out the system of integrated processes through which AGD has achieved the highest levels of operational efficiency and solid competitive advantages. This network allows the company to store raw materials in the provinces of Córdoba, Chaco, Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, Tucumán, Salta, San Luis, Santiago del Estero and Entre Ríos, for later transfer to the Group's following industrial plants: General Deheza, Dalmacio Vélez Sarsfield and Alejandro Roca in the province of Córdoba; Niza in Villa Mercedes, province of San Luis; Chabás in the province of Santa Fe and T6 Industrial (Puerto General San Martín), a port on Paraná River.
The products manufactured by Aceitera General Deheza (AGD) are sold in Argentina and worldwide using both its own brands and third-party brands, leading it to gain over the last few years an increasing share of the domestic market. This has gradually resulted in the company´s corporate policy of gradually "decommoditizing" its production, with the purpose of adding value to it.
Based on this, the industrial group has consolidated the following brands in order to sell its products:
Oils: Natura (pure sunflower, Blend of sunflower and olive, sunflower oil spray, olive oil Classic and Intense), Sojola, Cada Día, Copisi and Mazola (corn, olive and corn oil spray and butter).
Sauces and Dressings: Mayonnaises: Natura, Mayoliva, Cada Día, Natura ketchup, mustard and golf sauce dressing and Cada Día ketchup and golf sauce.
Peanut butter: Runny's
Brand recognition and acceptance in different foreign markets has produced sustained growth for several years and as a result consumers can enjoy these products in Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Haiti, Panama, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Russia and Angola.
Consolidated as a leader of the peanut processing industry, AGD exports all different types of confectionery-grade peanuts to markets in The Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, USA, Eastern Europe, Mexico, Australia, South Africa and the MERCOSUR countries. Amongst them, Europe is the most important market, given the fact that it demands the highest peanut quality in the world.
AGD Group is comprised of Aceitera General Deheza S.A., Aceitera Chabás S.A.I.C. and Niza S.A. This structure, coupled with an adherence to principles of integration, including holding equity interests in the following associated companies: Agroaval S.G.R., Cerealista Moldes S.A., Establecimientos Agropecuarios La Paz S.A, Graneles Andinos S.A., Guide S.A., NCA S.A., Promaíz S.A, T6 Industrial and Terminal 6 S.A., forms a strong foundation for the Group's market activities.
The Group has offices in the city of Buenos Aires, while its headquarters are located in the town that gave birth to the company: General Deheza, in the province of Córdoba.
One of the main pillars supporting the vertiginous development of Aceitera General Deheza (AGD) and its associated companies is its logistic network specially designed to achieve an actual integration of all areas.
For that purpose, AGD counts on two highly efficient port services: Terminal 6 S.A. (at Puerto General San Martin) and Guide S.A. (at the port of Rosario), both on the Paraná River.
Terminal 6, the most advanced facilities in Argentina, is capable of unloading 600 railway cars and over one 1,200 trucks per day. It is used to load seafaring ships with dry bulk and vegetable oils. Last year it handled over 13 million tonnes of exports.
Puerto Guide has two independent lines for loading refined and crude oils on its two piers, with a storage capacity of over 72,000 tonnes.
AGD's extensive logistical network is completed with the Nuevo Central Argentino railway system, which has 4,700 kilometers ( 2,920 miles ) of linkin uniting the provinces of Tucumán, Santiago del Estero, Córdoba, and Santa Fe provinces with the ports in the area of Rosario.
The industrial structure of Aceitera General Deheza and its associated companies is organized in six facilities located in three provinces: Córdoba, Santa Fe and San Luis.
Córdoba: The industrial complex of General Deheza as well as the Alejandro Roca Peanut Plant and Dalmacio Vélez Sarsfield plants are located in the province of Córdoba.
The industrial complex of General Deheza, the group´s most important establishment, stands in the midst of the Pampa Humeda, Argentina´s prime agricultural region. It has a modern refinery that on a daily basis converts 700,000 litres of crude vegetable oil into edible oils, can process up to 8,000 tons of oilseeds per day handling soybeans, sunflowerseeds and groundnuts in its multi-seed extraction lines through its Reflex plant opened in November 2011. It also has a storage capacity of one million tonnes of seeds and 60,000 tonnes of oils.
This complex includes an automated oil bottling plant that produces its own PET containers and polyethylene caps needed for bottling more than 17 million litres of oil per month, a clear testimony to AGD´s commitment to quality and technological excellence.
AGD stands out in its leadership in the area of processing groundnuts. It has a plant in General Deheza for shelling, selection and blanching, with a daily processing capacity of 600 tonnes.
The Alejandro Roca Peanut Plant, located in the town of Alejandro Roca in the province of Córdoba, receives bulk peanut produced in the area which is then processed into high grade (HPS) peanut for human consumption and blanched peanuts (peanuts without skin).
This plant has a processing capacity of 600 tons a day of farmer stock and 200 tons a day of blanched peanuts (peanuts without skin). In addition, the plant has a storage capacity of 65,000 tons of farmer stock and 35,000 tons of finished product (50 % cold storage).
Finally, the Dalmacio Vélez Sarsfield Plant is a business unit involving a crushing plant located at Dalmacio Vélez Sarsfield, in the province of Córdoba, which processes 500 tonnes per day of oilseeds for the edible oil industry. These facilities currently produce crude peanut and soybean oils and protein meal for export.
San Luis: Located in the town of Villa Mercedes, the Niza S.A. industrial complex has two differentiated production lines for:
Sauces and dressings, producing and packaging 60,000 tonnes per year of sauces and dressings;
Peanuts, where 8,000 tonnes per year are toasted. This unit also produces 15,000 tons of peanut butter, all of it for export.
Altogether, with its three peanut processing plants located in San Luis, General Deheza and Alejandro Roca, AGD accounts for 25% of the total Argentine exports of peanuts for human consumption.
Santa Fe: Chabás and T6 Industrial Plants are located in the province of Santa Fe.
Aceitera Chabás has the capacity to process 4,000 tonnes of soybean per day, producing oil, soybean lecithin and protein meals with quality standards tailored to the needs of foreign clients. The facility has a storage capacity for 420,000 tonnes of seeds, pellets and oils. T6 Industrial, the most advanced crushing facility in Argentina, is located next to the Paraná River. The plant processes 20,000 tons of oilseed per day and is equipped to handle the growth in Argentine oilseed production as well as the international demand for oils and protein meals. The complex has capacity to store over 450,000 tonnes of seeds.
At this oleochemical complex the Company also has two biodiesel production lines through which they can obtain 240,000 tons per year. The glycerin, a byproduct of the biodiesel process, is refined to obtain pharmacopoeia grade glycerin increasing the value added to the industrial production of a renewable energy.
From the start, the strategic aim of AGD has been to anticipate transformations in the oil sector. The creation of a broad grain procurement system satisfies that criteria. Today AGD owns more 44 warehouses for that purpose in the provinces of Córdoba, Chaco, Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, Tucumán, Salta, San Luis, Santiago del Estero and Entre Ríos.
In recent years, the company has increased its storage capacity, building new warehouses or increasing the capacity of existing facilities, such as that in Tucumán. Standing out among the new facilities are those in Ceres, Río Primero and Charata, which altogether have a capacity to store 280,000 tonnes of seeds.
Based on export volumes, AGD´s main export markets are: Far East 38%, Western Europe 19%, Middle East 16%, África 9%, Latin America 6%, India/Pakistan/Bangladesh 5%.
AGD is responsible for more than 14% of Argentina´s oil industry exports and for 25% of its exports of peanuts for human consumption. It delivers to foreign markets more than 95% of the crushed oilseed products, and 1.5 million tons of maize, wheat and sorghum. Its branded products, with high levels of value added content, have captured a growing market share domestically, including bottled oils and mayonnaise. The Group exports 60% of its branded oil products and 40% of its mayonnaise production. Hence, In the period 2018/19, AGD had a turnover more than 2,700 million dollars, counting the totals of exports and sales in the local market.
Furthermore, AGD has
- An oilseed crushing capacity of 20,000 tonnes per day.
- A total storing capacity of 3,300,000 tonnes.
- A grain and oilseed planted area of 500,000 acres ( 200,000 hectares ).
- It is considered the foremost Argentine exporter of confectionery peanut.
Concern for the environment is one of the main reasons that AGD invested in a husk-feed boiler. This piece of equipment, installed at the General Deheza plant, produces the steam required for industrial processes, using sunflowerseed and groundnut husks as a renewable fuel, achieving a reduction of carbon dioxide of 31,000 tons per year.
The production processes at the plants for bottling edible oils, and at the plants for processing raw peanuts, peanut butter and shelled and toasted peanuts, are ISO 9001-certified, assuring the quality of the processes used to produce foods for human consumption.
The seed’s plant in Chazón, in the province of Córdoba, is also ISO 9001 certified. In addition, the plants used for crushing oilseeds have a GMP B2 (quality control of Feed Material for animal Feed) certification, which is required for the export of products to the European Union.
Another goal on international certifications was achieved during 2009 with the obtention of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Norms Certification for Alejandro Roca and General Deheza Peanut Plants. This goal represents a Company commitment in sustainable and responsible managment, involving aspects like Human Resources, Health and Safety for emploees, Company Integrity and enviromental Policy.
In addition, all Peanut Plants are certified by BRC (British Retail Consortium) standard that specifies the criteria for safety and quality of food required to a processing company to be able to provide products to the most important markets worldwide.
The commitment undertaken by Aceitera General Deheza in preserving the environment was ratified by the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when this organization certified the reduction in gas emissions that cause greenhouse effect in the industrial processes of the plants located in General Deheza.
In this way, AGD became the first company in the food industry and one of the ten argentine companies to obtain this certification that shows the commitment with the environment preservation.
With the CERs (Certified Emission Reductions) granted by UN, on April 9th 2007, AGD will obtain 31.000 annual carbon bonds during 21 years, as of 2008.
Aceitera General Deheza (AGD) maintains close ties with the community of General Deheza, the town that has been witness to its development since its inception. Day after day, AGD renews the social compromise undertaken by its founder Adrián Pascual Urquía from the very start. Indeed, the growth of the town - situated 200 km south of the city of Córdoba - is strongly marked by the presence of the oil processing plant not only because it is the first and most important employer in the area and a booster of new businesses, but also because of its contributions to the development of housing projects, infrastructure works, schools and social clubs and other services which are to improve the living standards of the community.