Fast Tracking Cold Chain Investment

New cold chain facility to improve food safety and facilitate trade

Improved cold chain management is essential for food quality and safety and for maximizing the shelf life of perishable goods. IESC, in association with program subpartners the Global Cold Chain Alliance-World Food Logistics Organization (GCCA-WFLO) and LixCap, completed a comprehensive market opportunity study of cold chain facilities in the Dominican Republic (DR), engaging public and private stakeholders and service providers to identify opportunities for the development of a port-oriented cold storage facility in one of the country’s main airports or seaports. The study identified the Port of Caucedo as the best investment opportunity, kicking off efforts to facilitate cold chain improvements at this location. In addition to improving food quality and safety, increased cold chain capacity at ports such as Caucedo will help facilitate the trade of agricultural goods.

President Abinader, Industry and Commerce Minister, Ito Bisonó, along with representatives from DP World breaking ground on the new cold chain facility

Over the course of nine months, a TraSa team, including LixCap and GCCA-WFLO, led a period of investor outreach, engaging potentially interested parties beginning in May 2021. Completed in record time, this outreach was facilitated by the confidence the DR’s ports and airports had with TraSa’s service delivery performance. Our strategy placed a primary focus on investors and operators in the DR, while making connections with international entities looking to enter the DR’s cold chain market. We used a prioritized categorical approach to investor identification. Categories considered included: existing DR-based cold chain providers, temperature-controlled logistics (TCL)-adjacent industry organizations, port logistics providers, terminal operators and port authorities, air and maritime port owners and operators, agricultural producers and processors, importers and exporters, and international logistics operators. The investor outreach effort builds upon relationships that IESC has established with ports and airports, TCL operators, and government regulators throughout the DR since 2016.

The first major outcome of these efforts is the Caucedo Cold Port investment opportunity, in which TraSa successfully promoted, attracted, and mobilized investment at the Port of Caucedo in December 2021. By the end of April 2022, an event was held to break ground at the site, launching construction of a new state-of-the-art cold chain facility. (See DP World construye almacén refrigerado en Puerto Caucedo).

Following six months of engagement with Emergent Cold, we successfully facilitated Emergent Cold’s investment in a cold storage asset in the DR at the Port of Caucedo, in partnership with DP World. The partnership was announced on December 8th, 2021, and is part of an overarching investment by Emergent Cold in increasing cold storage and strategically connecting ports in Latin America. During the event, Emergent Cold acknowledged TraSa’s support in identifying the opportunity’s true potential, which bolstered their decision to make the investment.

With TraSa’s investment facilitation support, Emergent Cold is investing US $6 million into the new temperature-controlled storage facility, which will be 30,000 m3 in size and is expected to create 36 long-term jobs and 75 temporary construction jobs. The first phase of the project will generate new storage capacity for 5,000 pallet positions. The planned facility will primarily support imports into the DR, specifically frozen goods, consistent with the findings of TraSa’s market assessment, which was drafted prior to and informed TraSa’s investment promotion activities. Ultimately, Emergent Cold also seeks to add a line of business through the facility focused on providing storage and supply chain solutions for the banana export value chain from the DR.

Building upon these efforts, TraSa is developing written protocols for maintaining the cold chain during inspections at Caucedo, Punta Cana, and Santiago ports. These protocols, along with the new cold storage facility, will help to ensure the proper handling of perishable products, increasing the safety of food products being imported into and exported from the DR.

Trade Safe (TraSa) is a USDA Food for Progress initiative in the Dominican Republic implemented by IESC. TraSa is improving the efficiency, coordination, and transparency of the trade, commercialization, and safety of food and agricultural products by supporting the implementation of science and risk-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures, standards, and regulations. The Project is expanding the DR’s local, regional, and international trade in agricultural products, increasing agricultural productivity, and improving consumer access to safe foods. IESC is joined by Purdue University, the Global Cold Chain Alliance-World Food Logistics Organization (GCCA-WFLO), LixCap, and the DR-based Center for Agricultural and Forestry Development (CEDAF) in the implementation of the TraSa Project.

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