LIMA, PERU — PepsiCo, Inc. will invest $3 million over the next three years to create the Agricultural Development Center of Peru (CEDAP), said Indra K. Nooyi, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y. The Center, which is the first of its kind in Latin America, will focus on developing new varieties of potatoes and other tubers and roots. In addition, the knowledge and experience gained at the facility will be shared with other PepsiCo businesses around the world, especially those in tropical and subtropical zones similar to Peru.
In a meeting with Peru President Alan Garcia, Ms. Nooyi detailed PepsiCo’s plans for the Center, including the company’s commitment to sourcing raw materials for its products and investing in environmentally sustainable agriculture projects in Peru. She also discussed how the initiative will benefit Peruvian farmers by creating new income opportunities through the development of new crops.
“Peru has long been an important market for PepsiCo, and the investment we’re making in this world-class research and development facility demonstrates our long-term commitment to the country as well as to Latin America as a whole,” Ms. Nooyi said. “At PepsiCo, we take great pride in working with local farmers, environmental experts and scientists to share best practices in sustainable agriculture that will help improve yields, enrich crops and protect our natural surroundings. We look forward to harnessing the great biodiversity of Peru in ways that benefit local communities and ultimately deliver wholesome and enjoyable products to consumers.”
In addition to Peru, PepsiCo has similar facilities in the United States and in Europe. The company’s Center for Agricultural Research and Development of Potatoes in Rhinelander, Wis., focuses on developing potato varieties that are adaptable to temperate zones, while the company’s activity in Europe includes a partnership with the University of Cambridge for agricultural research.
“Because of Peru’s biodiversity this is the only place in the world where PepsiCo uses not only traditional white potatoes, as we do for Lay’s Classic potato chips, but also different native potato varieties,” said Antonio Escalona, South Andean general manager of PepsiCo Foods. “For example, here in Peru we use native Andean potatoes for Lay’s Andinas and the yellow potato for Lay’s Peruanisimas, which makes us very proud.”