From livestock to legumes: how we grew into a leading exporter of pulses and edible seeds
Cono is a family-owned company with more than 40 years of history. Over the decades we’ve evolved and transformed the business to adapt to a changing world. Set up as a cattle-rearing business in the 1980s, we’ve gradually developed, from growing commodity products to our present focus on pulses and chia seeds. Today we export to more than 50 countries. We’ve grown in other ways too. We now have our own state-of-the-art processing plant. We’ve set up a trading arm, leveraging our expertise to connect fellow farmers and growers to customers around the globe. We’ve grown from being a traditionally run family business into a professionally led company with a focus on technology and innovation.
At Cono, we’re proud of the fact we’ve grown into a global business while remaining loyal to our family values and Swiss-Argentine heritage. What does this mean? It means never losing our closeness to and appreciation of nature. It means focusing on quality and being fully committed to sustainability. These are the values that underpin our company. We believe this helps to safeguard our land in Argentina, ensuring it remains fertile – benefiting both us and our customers. It also means that one day, we can be confident of handing over our business and the land it was built on to the next generation.
1975 Cono S.A. is founded
The journey of Cono starts in the Cordoba province in central Argentina. Here the fertile grasslands provide ideal conditions for the cultivation of agricultural products.
1979 The Braun family acquires Cono S.A.
The Braun family, originally from Switzerland, takes over Cono and lays the foundations for the future success of the family company.
1980 Start of livestock farming
Cono starts grazing herds of cattle. Gradually the focus on cattle shifts until in 2003, rearing livestock is abandoned completely.
1990 Birth of the commodity farm
Cono starts growing soy and corn commodities, Cono is slowely evolving into its current model.
1996 Expansion in Santiago del Estero
Cono buys farms in northern Argentina and steps up production activities. Cono starts to cultivate pulses. Adoption of non-till farming.
2010 New processing plant for speciality crops
Cono builds a modern plant for processing chickpeas in Chalacea, Province of Cordoba. Product quality is both secured and improved. Export business expands.
2016 Leadership change
Cono evolves from a traditionally family-owned business into a professionally led company with a focus on innovation. Cono receives the BRC certificate, implements SAP. International footprint is established with the foundation of Health Seeds AG in Switzerland. Company headquarters are relocated to Cordoba to accommodate growing number of employees.
2018 Expansion of the processing plant and diversification of product portfolio
A new process line and silo plants enable Cono to triple its processing capacity. Installation of a new on-site laboratory. Cono opens a new office in Buenos Aires. Expansion of production area to Salta and Jujuy in the North West of Argentina. New products are added to the product range.
2019 Train / Logistics
Cono ships out cargo by train for the first time. Establishment of Cono Trading SAS.
2020 New group structure and revised corporate profile
After more than 40 years, it is time to revise Cono's profile. Development of new brand and establishment of two divisions: Cono Agriculture and Cono Trading under Cono Group. Renaming of Health Seeds AG to Cono Trading International AG.