Aug 09, 2011 • By

Argentinean president visits La Saltena

Not many people can say that the president has visited their workplace.

But several hundred General Mills employees in Argentina can attest to it, after Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kichner visited the La Salteña plant in Burzaco last week.

The hour-long visit included a brief speech, a plant tour and the opening of three other plants in the industrial park. She spoke about the park’s 150 percent growth rate since 2003, and the importance of collaboration among the public and private sector.

She also spoke about her own experience using La Salteña to make empanadas and tarts. “La Salteña reminds me of when my mom took me to the small pasta shop near our house in La Plata city,” she said.

“Our employees were very excited to receive the president, and they were proud to show her what a big accomplishment it is to have this new plant,” says Alex Viloria, General Mills managing director in Argentina. “Personally, it was an honor to host her at our new facility.”

Three years ago, a devastating fire at the La Salteña plant in Burzaco created a significant setback for the well-established business, founded in 1962. Contract manufacturers were quickly found while the team in Argentina scouted locations for a new facility.

“It was a difficult situation, and it put us to the test,” Alex told those attending the event. “But in that difficult moment, there also was opportunity – opportunity to rebuild a true state-of-the-art facility, one of the best in Latin America.”