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Córdoba Exports More: Local Chickpea Gains Ground in the International Market

Selexa, a company in the specialty crop market, achieved its first export after working with the Business Intelligence Service run by ProCórdoba Agency, which functions under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Mining. The shipment consisted of 100 tons of chickpea. The produce was grown entirely in Córdoba and processed at the firm's plant — generating added value and quality work.

Selexa was born 10 years ago. At the time, it was devoted to the extensive production of corn and soybean. The firm then ventured into the specialty crop market and started producing mainly chickpea, though it has also worked with "pisingallo" corn (popcorn) and other products such as lentil.

President Lucas Domínguez talked to us and said,

"In 2017, we set up our own plant for pulse processing. It is situated in Villa del Totoral, a strategic location. Before setting it up, we analyzed strengths and weaknesses in different plants to create suitable facilities and a quality offer."

The company is strongly working on a food traceability system that allows people anywhere in the world to see when, where, under which standards, etc., a product has been processed. Through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Mining's My First Certification program, Selexa obtained the HAACP certification, a quality standard essential to guarantee food safety.

"We not only grow our produce, but also process all kinds of pulses for other exporting firms. That is why we decided to take a leap and internationalize our products," explained Domínguez.

Business Intelligence

The company participates in the Export Developing Program for the Milling Sector. In 2019, it took part in the international business rounds held at ExpoRural Río Cuarto. It was there that it established a contact with their now Colombian client. Domínguez said,

"I want to underscore this: had it not been for ProCórdoba, we probably would not be celebrating this milestone. We have achieved our first export: 100 tons of chickpea entirely produced in Córdoba and processed at Selexa's plant."

As for future prospects in foreign trade, the firm's President explained,

"There already exists a demand for more. Today, there's not enough supply or pre-export financing, but the demand for pulses is high: we have export markets in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Brazil and Chile, to name a few. The Agency was at our side all throughout the process, advising us in export matters, visiting our plant... All this work encouraged us and resulted in our first export. This was only a first step into the export activity, because it was a very good experience."

The Business Intelligence Service offered by ProCórdoba Agency is designed to prepare our province's export offer for global demands and help Cordobese companies to position their products in strategic markets. With that in mind, the Agency develops an Export Development Program specifically designed to face the needs of each sector and company. At present the program is working with the dairy, milling, pasta & baking, auto parts, rubber & plastics, agricultural machinery and software sectors.