Sunsweet Case Study: 3 Tips for Designing an International Processing Facility

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When Sunsweet decided to expand their existing facility in Chile and needed design help, they turned to Stellar for a partner to help them not only design the facility but guide them through the entire process. From selecting the right site, to understanding sanitary design principles which ensure food safety, to vetting of local subcontractors, choosing the right firm to support your project is one of the most important decisions you face.

Designing an International Processing Facility for Sunsweet in South America

Sunsweet, a grower-owned cooperative based in California, is the world’s largest and most famous brand of dried tree fruits. The company needed additional land to grow its popular prunes and looked to Chile as a new destination for growing its business. Sunsweet already had a small operation for growing and drying prunes in the South American country, but it wanted to expand that presence to include a larger prune processing facility.

In this new case study, “Designing an International Processing Facility for Sunsweet in South America” learn three solutions that helped Sunsweet realize their vision for a modern processing plant, including:

  • Site selection and due diligence
  • Designing a facility across borders, cultures and regulations
  • Advising on process engineering and equipment

Site Selection and Due Diligence Planning

Stellar began by analyzing possible locations for the new facility and advising on the preferred location from a transportation and logistics standpoint. The team considered three other sites in Chile before determining that Sunsweet’s existing property there would make the most strategic sense for multiple reasons.

The Chilean government requires builders to secure a significant number of environmental permits before starting a new project — a process that can take years. However, the Stellar team determined that by building on Sunsweet’s existing property, which already had the necessary permits established, the project would be classified as “remodeling and expanding,” thus saving the company time and money.

While Sunsweet initially decided to work with Stellar because of its food industry expertise and international experience, the connection the firm created quickly confirmed it was a perfect fit. The Stellar team flew out for in-person meetings with company leadership, and Spanish-speaking architects and engineers from Stellar were able to easily relate to and communicate with the teams on the ground in Chile.

The Stellar team was very engaging and so well-spoken when meeting with company leadership,” said Matt Kelly, Vice President of Manufacturing Operations at Sunsweet.

To learn more about this project and how Sunsweet’s success can translate to your business, download our free case study today.

 

 

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