Campofrio Food Group Returns Stronger than Ever from Fire

Campofrio Food Group works with FM Global to recover from major fire loss.

Many good things can come from a genuine partnership: trust, confidence, courage, insight, intelligence, even profit. At FM Global, we pride ourselves on solid partnerships. We see the benefits every day. The relationships we build with our clients include the best aspects of collaboration. Take, for example, one specific way our partners benefit from doing business with us: that is, building a strategic advantage.

Virtually all of our clients are competitors. They do battle every day, seeking to gain an edge, seize greater market share, lead the pack, muscle out the competition. What our policyholders know is that FM Global can advance, and in the best cases, bolster their ability to reach those goals. Rather than worry about fluctuating rates, timely claims response and complex clauses and contracts, our clients have more time to concentrate on sales and revenue targets and company performance, knowing their primary revenue sources are protected. Just ask Campofrío Food Group (CFG).

"To be honest, none of us here knew what to expect from FM Global. We had only started working with them a few months before the fire."

Marta Garcia Alba, general counsel, Campofrio

Marta García Alba, general counsel for CFG, has firsthand experience with "the bad times." In November 2014—smack in the middle of their holiday selling season—a devastating fire hit CFG's La Bureba plant, its principal manufacturing facility, in Burgos, Spain, burning a hole through the heart of the company.

"It was a great loss for CFG and the people of Spain who have supported the brand for decades," says Mario Paez, the company's chief financial officer. "A very tough time to go through."

As soon as the situation was known, CFG notified FM Global, but with some hesitation. "To be honest, none of us here knew what to expect from FM Global. We had only started working with them a few months before the fire.

With its main facility down, the company's sales and market share plummeted. CFG mobilized quickly, working together with FM Global's claims team to do its part. "They made themselves available to us in the very first days," says García Alba, still a little incredulous, "and it didn't take long for us to realize they were on our side! It was amazing how strong a relationship we built in a very short time."

Every day the Burgos facility sat idle was another day that CFG's capacity to produce and deliver was impaired. Thanks to quick thinking from senior management, deep commitment and the support of FM Global, CFG had a new production and distribution plan in place—and product in the supermarkets—just over a month after the fire. "It was 10 days after the fire happened," García Alba explains, "while we were still assessing the extent of the damage, that FM Global presented us with an advance payment of 50 million euros."

"The biggest takeaway for me in this whole thing is that you must have the right partner, especially in the bad times."

Mario Paez, chief financial officer, Campofrio

"It meant so much to us," says Paez, of the advance. "It meant that we could put our trust in FM Global. It meant that we were in this situation together with a real partner, and it meant that partnership brought real value to CFG. The biggest takeaway for me in this whole thing is that you must have the right partner, especially in the bad times."

In its own way, FM Global ensured CFG recovered quickly and could salvage as much of its market share as possible. "During our recovery," says García Alba, "we initially had shortages of product and we were losing shelf space every day. When FM Global entered the picture, it gave us confidence to plan more effectively and boldly because we knew we had their support."

While CFG was developing new distribution processing channels to serve its consumers, FM Global was collaborating with the CFG engineering team on plans for a new facility, a facility that opened in late 2016. "Because we were building a plant from scratch, FM Global's information, technical specifications and engineering expertise were invaluable," says Benito Tapiador, CFG engineering director. "Their technical knowledge of fire protection measures was of strategic importance to us as we went through the design process. What FM Global did for us can be expressed in a single word: phenomenal, and with no problems!"