In its quest to uphold freshness and high quality standards, Puerto Rico’s Wendy’s franchisee invests about $12 million a year in goods from local farmers and producers.
Key ingredients for the chain’s menu, such as fresh meat, eggs, milk, and bread, are purchased from local suppliers, including, Los Cidrines, Holsum, Samaritana, and Sweet Packaging, said Jorge Colón-Gerena, president of Wendco de Puerto Rico — which holds the Wendy’s franchise rights — during a Monday walk-through of the EmProSur plant in Coamo that makes its iconic square-shaped burgers.
“For others, in terms of business, it may be more convenient to import frozen meat and other ingredients, but for Wendy’s, offering fresh foods that impact the quality of life for our customers becomes a privilege when the public recognizes the commitment we have as a company,” Colón-Gerena said.
To process the meat for Wendy’s, EmProSur follows the highest standards set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as the rigorous quality demands of the quick-service chain. With the support of the local Agriculture Department and the Municipality of Coamo, the commitment to freshness is also reflected in a multi-million dollar impact on the economy and economic development.
EmProSur has some 47 permanent employees and is the only meat manufacturing, processing and distribution plant that operates year-round in Puerto Rico. Furthermore, Wendy’s annual investment covers about $7.5 million in beef purchases from local cattle farmers, EmProSur President Carlos Cándido-Rodríguez.
“Freshness is defined by the way food is processed, especially meat, the main ingredient of our burgers, which is never frozen. The perfect temperature is monitored from processing the package until it touches the grill at our 75 restaurants,” Colón-Gerena said. Wendy’s employs about 3,000 people in Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Agriculture Secretary Mirna Comas, who was present for the visit to the southern plant, urged all food industries to “promote fresh local products to improve quality of life with proper nutrition, because freshness comes from what our farmers produce.”
Quality and freshness are the themes of the company’s new multi-media advertising campaign that starts today under the “Quality is good for you” (“La calidad te hace bien”) slogan.