ISSAQUAH, WA – In 2016, Vanguard expanded its production scope and acquired Agricola Challapampa in Peru. Significant investments have been made to strengthen Vanguard’s position in Peru to support a 52-week per year supply solution of fresh produce to global customers. This has included the development of a brand-new packing house in Ica, Peru, to control temperatures and holding environments for the best quality grape crops. Alongside these developments, Vanguard recognized the need for quality management, and implemented a Total Quality Management (TQM) team upon acquisition in 2016, which has continued to grow and thrive.
“Between expanding operations in Peru, and partnering with Sun World Innovations to add their top-quality grape varieties to our growing program, it was clear that quality management of our program would be critical”, says Dirk Winkelmann, Business Development Officer, Vanguard International and President, Vanguard Direct, “We’ve seen major advances in productivity and technologies that continue to deliver quality we can be proud of.”
Vanguard Peru’s TQM team monitors quality and efficiencies for the whole of operations: from plant installation and plant growth, to farming, harvest, package, storage, and dispatching.
“What differentiates our TQM program is our control system. We are consistently using indicators of work efficiency housed in a state-of-the-art data house that controls development, speed, and quality of work”, says Manuel Yzaga, President of Vanguard Peru. “Errors or inefficiencies are identified immediately and communicated through chain of command as quickly as possible.”
Achievements from the TQM team include migration to a fully digital recording system, as well as a newly improved evaluation system for all suppliers. Possibly most impactful has been the implementation of a software that assists with loading and container control.
Vanguard is thrilled with the development of crucial procedures and indicators of success over the past 3 years that have contributed to its ability to stand as a reliable pillar in the seedless grape market. Looking forward to 2020, the Vanguard TQM team expects to see an increased emphasis on consistency of quality, condition, berry size, bunch size, and of course, flavor. Our goal is to always deliver what will delight our customers through this initiative.
Founded in 1991, Vanguard International has been marketing and selling fresh fruits and vegetables in Asia and the Middle East for over 25 years, operating offices internationally in Chile, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, Spain, Taiwan, South Africa, and the United States.