Juan Pablo Ramírez Torrealba is the new general manager of salmon ova supplier Benchmark Genetics Chile.

Widely experienced fish farming manager takes over at Benchmark Genetics Chile

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Benchmark Genetics Chile has appointed a new general manager, Juan Pablo Ramírez Torrealba, replacing Berta Contreras Mutis who the company said will be pursuing new professional opportunities.

Ramírez holds a degree in industrial engineering from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and has more than 13 years of experience in the aquaculture sector. He has held various management and leadership roles throughout the production chain, from freshwater operations to commercial activities.

His career in the Chilean salmon industry includes roles as production and operations manager at Agua Mar and farming manager at Cultivos Yadrán (2020-2024). He also served as manager of Naviera Río Dulce (2019-2020), regional manager of Camanchaca Cultivos Sur in Chiloé (2017-2018), and deputy manager of planning and later North American sales at Camanchaca Salmon in Tomé, Bíobío region (2013-2015). His career began in 2011 as a commercial assistant at Salmones Friosur, where he later became head of the processing plant in Puerto Chacabuco, Aysén region, until the end of 2013.

Potential in Chile

Ramírez said: “I am very excited to join an international leader like Benchmark, renowned for producing Atlantic salmon eggs globally. I believe there is still significant potential in Chile to share the excellent results we achieve with our quality products, strong performance, and high biosafety standards.”

Geir Olav Melingen, director of Benchmark’s Atlantic salmon business areas, said the company was delighted to welcome Ramírez as its team leader in Chile.

“His extensive industry experience and capabilities are exactly what we need to continue our expansion in the country,” said Melingen. “Juan Pablo has our full support in advancing the production of high-quality Atlantic salmon eggs for the Chilean salmon farming industry.” 

Contreras joined Benchmark less than a year ago, in September 2023, from salmon farmer Cermaq Chile, where she spent almost four years as technical and research and development manager. Prior to that she was a managing partner at Puerto Montt-based Conecta Spa, a specialist in strategy design and environmental analysis in the salmon sector, and before that spent 25 years as technical manager and corporate affairs manager with salmon farmer Marine Harvest Chile (now Mowi Chile).

Melingen thanked Contreras for her “invaluable contributions” during her tenure, highlighting her role in significantly enhancing the company’s presence in the Chilean market. “We wish Berta every success in her future endeavours,” he said.