Interview originally published by asozumos.es and is reprinted with kind permission.
Interview with Francisco Purroy Balda, JBT EMENA Sales & Accounts Manager – Citrus & Juice Processing Technologies and Iberia Sales Manager – Liquid Foods.
1. Could you tell us briefly about your company?
JBT is an American, NYSE-listed corporation, headquartered in Chicago, and is one of the principal manufacturers of technologies for juices and beverages based in Florida, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa and China. JBT has fruit, vegetable and juice extraction technology centres in Murcia, Spain and Parma, Italy, as well as in Florida, Mexico, and other locations. JBT emerged as a spin-off business from FMC, a company well-known in the citrus world, which has grown since then, reaching many other areas of food technology both organically and as a result of being very active in purchases and acquisitions. JBT’s current turnover has reached $1,900m USD, with some 6,500 employees worldwide.
2. What values define the philosophy of the company?
Our values are Integrity, Responsibility, Continuous Improvement and Teamwork, but most importantly Putting the Customer First. Since its very beginnings, JBT has been an organisation with a laser focus on sustainability, driven by solutions such as food preservation – covering thermal and non-thermal, and including pasteurization, sterilization, cooling and freezing, autoclaves, hydrostatic towers, and High Pressure Processing (HPP) – and fruit and vegetable extraction solutions with the clear objective of maximizing yield and minimizing waste.
We continue to work very hard not only on the aforementioned where there is always scope for new solutions, but also on helping customers make energy and water savings in processing lines and through achieving added value from byproducts.
3. Taking into account the current situation, what are your company’s short, medium and long term objectives?
In the first place we continue to have our foot on the accelerator developing new technological solutions at the same time as we move forward with projects for achieving organic growth, efficiencies and synergies at an already significantly-sized company. JBT will also continue to move forward with our strategic acquisition programme, while ensuring we maintain our long-term goal of achieving greater ESG and sustainability.
4. From your point of view, what are the principal challenges currently affecting the juice industry and why is it important for the industry to support the work of ASOZUMOS?
The serious global crisis caused by COVID-19 is changing the working models every day for more and more industries. In ours, there are the classic problems and challenges of sugars and the image of juice, as well as price and quality inconsistencies in fruits and vegetables which vary from season to season, and the threat from Brazil and other places where things suddenly seem to take a left-turn with consumers buying up long-life juice, supermarkets closing all point-of-sale juicers, the industry wondering if there will be manpower available for produce harvesting, and prices for concentrate recovering quickly.
In whatever case, I believe it is imperative we all work together in ASOZUMOS to face the challenge that remains before us of educating consumers about the benefits of 100% juice, while avoiding confusion, misconceptions with triggers for obesity or diabetes, and wrongful associations with sugary beverages.
5. What would you say are the skills and abilities being developed at an industry level and what opportunities are there to use them for the common good?
Economy and marketing of scale firstly. A common front against false news and hoaxes. And a strong defence of the industry against the threat posed by supply from emerging markets to the principal markets of consumption where ASOZUMOS members are located. We must do everything we can to achieve on the one hand an unimpeachable industry, 100% transparent, and on the other to make sure this industrial sector really thinks about and works towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Millennials and the ‘Generation Hashtag’ won’t accept anything else.