Alfredo Coto received his first lessons about meat marketing from his father, Mr. Joaquín Coto. It all began in 1970. Alfredo Coto and his wife, Gloria, founded the first Argentine company that boosted the producer-to-consumer direct retail system, and the first to market 40,000 kg of meat per branch per month: COTO C.I.C.S.A. In order to cut costs and improve the traditional retailing method, COTO designed special butcher shops with an aerial quartering system and specialty cuts on the counters.
The main difference was the purchase of live cattle, meat processing at self-owned plants, distribution and direct retail sale through its own stores. The company grew fast incorporating the new trend of marketing strategies but never lost its main values. And in 1987, Mar de Ajó was the scenario for the great step: the first COTO Supermarket. New branches were opened soon in Buenos Aires and the GBA. The great chain had already been born.
Since the last decade, the retail market became more dynamic each time. A market composed every time by more reasonable customers. Customers comparing prices, quality and services. In this type of market, greatly invaded by an ever growing informality during recent times, Coto has become the chain with greatest sales per square meter in the Capital Federal and G.B.A.
This is due to the variety of formats employed, to the strategic location of its braches, as well as the company's constant commitment of being closer to Argentine people, opening more branches wherever needed. Nowadays the commercial proposal has been diversified in order to satisfy multiple needs.
The company foresees there will be a consumption increase in the following years. As a result, an expansion plan is in place with the opening of new supermarkets. All this means that
the Argentine will go on enjoying top quality products at a good price. That they will go on finding out that at COTO we care for our customers. An everlasting employment source.
A company that offers cost-effective solutions to every family when they sit down to eat. People committed with what they do, and with the country where they do it. The chain is composed of 120 branches and has several construction projects throughout the country, including hypermarkets and shopping centers.
COTO leads the domestic market based on the importance it has given during all these years to the fact generate added value in marketing. Having that same added value as a premise,
he set out to expand to the rest of the world. Today COTO is a company that strives to strengthen its export side.
COTO in the world
One of the keys to the success of COTO is its policy of continuous expansion. This led him to plan, not only in the internal market, but also in the international. For this reason, at the end of the 90s, COTO initiated a strong export policy, achieving here also a marked leadership in the export of beef, Hilton and No Hilton cuts and in finished and semi-finished leathers for footwear and home upholstery.
The productive chain of COTO
The elaboration of meats and hides begins with the purchase of the Treasury (in a 70% carried out directly to field producers). Then, in our own refrigerators the slaughter processes are fulfilled (for the obtaining of leathers and meats). The end of the meat production process is carried out once rigorous quality controls have been carried out and once the cuts have been packaged for subsequent export (either chilled or frozen). In the case of leathers, once the slaughter is finished, they are transported to the tannery, obtaining there, after the tanning process, semi-finished or finished leathers for export. In these processes, COTO is present supervising, controlling and training.
The commitment of flavor and quality of COTO in the export turns the company into something more than a simple marketer of meats. For many years, COTO has been responsible for bringing the best cuts of the country of the best meat in the world to different parts of the planet: Germany, Holland, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, France, Russia, Hong Kong, Brazil, Chile, Peru and non-traditional markets such as Egypt, Algeria, Ukraine, Bosnia and Croatia. Maintaining commercial negotiations with these countries requires, on the part of COTO, an intensive program of daily Quality Control and an experience that allows it to work according to the different requirements of its international clients. Thanks to meet these requirements in an outstanding manner, COTO achieved an international reputation in terms of meat exports. A clear example of this reputation can be seen in the ability of COTO to access the Hilton Fee,
which serves to maintain a fluid commercial deal with the European Union. The international benefits offered to COTO show how important the company. These achievements can only be achieved thanks to the purchase of selected steers with the best genetic base, in their Aberdeen Angus, fed by the natural pastures that characterize one of the most important heritages important in our country. The processes of desposte, another of the important moments at the time of preparing the merchandise destined for export, is carried out under an exhaustive process of verification and control by the company, always within its export refrigerator certified under ISO 9000 standards.
The cycle begins at our facilities in San Pedro, in the province of Buenos Aires. We have warehouses equipped with state-of-the-art technology, where 5000 male and 36000 mothers are found 164 eggs throughout its cycle. These eggs are collected, sorted and disinfected by personnel highly qualified, following the strictest safety standards. After harvesting, the eggs are placed in the special egg maples and taken to the incubation facilities. The same takes place in Zárate, where they are kept at the exact temperature of 38º C; then it performs the ovoscopia to separate the sterile. We have two hatcheries resulting in 79,000 births per room. The baby chicks are classified and disinfected,
The chicks then vaccinated according to the destination needs; then they are placed in the transport units to go to the fattening farm. The chicks are lowered in air-conditioned sheds at 32º C,refrigerator for their work. Once the process is finished, the chickens are placed in the appropriate boxes that can carry about 20 kilograms, approximately 7 to 8 heads. These drawers are stored in refrigeration chambers following strict sanitary regulations. For some years we started to export our chickens and their derivatives to different destinations; since we have ratings for the most demanding markets such as the European Union and Chile.
COTO knows that leather, material of extreme delicacy, must be elaborated with a lot of care. Followed by the constant quality controls to which COTO is accustomed, leather
production places the company as one of the main exporters of Argentina.
The use of COTO leather.
The processing that COTO performs on leather is part of a strategy that seeks to add value to its operations. This is how products such as finished and semi-finished leathers are obtained, whose uses range from home upholstery to footwear, clothing and leather goods. The main destinations are: Italy, United States, Brazil, Canada, Taiwan, China, India, Spain, Mexico, Thailand, Philippines, Chile, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and Portugal.
Mexico, Thailand, Philippines, Chile,
United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and Portugal.
COTO offers basic colors and a special design and textures for each item, and is always developing and creating new finishings and colors for existing item, thus achieving customer satisfaction and higher earnings. The company has its own raw material supply source and ensures demand in excess through a third party leather purchase program supported by the implementation of a strict quality program: “HACCP: Hazard Analysis and Critical Points of Control.”
Supplying more than a hundred branches in such different points of the country, offering the greatest variety of products at the best prices would be impossible if the reception, distribution and preparation were not centralized of the products. That is why COTO has Esteban Echeverría's party, with its own Distribution and Production Center of 110,000 m2 covered
in a plot of more than 65 hectares, becoming the largest in Latin America. There we can find large storage areas, in addition to having an own fruit and vegetable ripener and a pasta factory, all equipped with the most extensive technology.
At COTO we know that customers expect to find affordable, top quality products on the shelves. That is why a few years ago the company has teamed up with different
producers of the leading brands in Argentina in order to make the exclusive production of COTO brand products, Ciudad del Lago and Cristal del Lago.
This is how the merchandise offered in each branch includes more than 1000 private label products that go from the COTO supermarkets to the family table.
COTO is TOP.
The continued dedication and concern to provide people with high quality non-food products also led COTO to create a successful product line.
This is divided into brands for each item: TOP House (in electrical appliances), TOP Garden (in garden), TOP Motors (in accessories for cars), TOP Camping (in articles for camping and fishing), TOP Design (in clothing and footwear) ), Home Studio (in deco, bazaar and furniture), TOP Home (in paintings and tools), Home Studio and Home Design (in kitchen and white), TOP Fitness (in sports machines and gym equipment, SPX (sportswear) ), Catherine Longfield (high quality sheets and bedding) and many more brands.