June 14, 2017

In Peru, Upgraded Baking Plant Inaugurated with Baptism

Two employees working for a recently upgraded church-managed baking plant were baptized as part of the re-opening ceremony on the company premises last week. The baptism capped a remodeling and upgrade project that added 32,000 square feet (3,000 square meters) to Productos Unión, a Seventh-day Adventist plant producing baking goods in Santa Anita, east of Peru’s capital city of Lima.

“Opening this new addition has been a dream for years,” said Álvaro Masías, CEO of the company. “It is our commitment to keep sharing health through our products.” The new addition will be used for administrative offices and a new distribution center.

The re-opening ceremony was attended by leaders of the North Peruvian Union Mission church region, where the company is located. Plant suppliers and main partners were also present. As part of the program, employee Jeremías Sánchez was honored for 45 years of service at the baking plant. “We thank you very much for your hard work all these years,” said company leaders in an emotional moment that Sánchez shared with his immediate family.

After a special prayer of dedication and thanksgiving, leaders took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony, as they stressed how they hope the upgraded plant may increase its influence in Peru. “It is our goal to provide thousands more Peruvian families with healthy baking options,” they said.

Church-Like Facilities, and a Baptism

The company is known for taking care of its employees and providing a pleasant working environment, as several of the guests acknowledged. A highlight of the ceremony was the baptism of Diana Zavala and Víctor Curo, two Productos Unión salespersons. After forming friendships with their colleagues and studying the Bible for months, both decided to give their hearts to Jesus in a public ceremony on the new premises, which were specially dressed for the occasion.

“When I came for my job interview, I perceived right away that this place was different from any other I had been,” said Zavala. “I found out that this is a company that really takes care of its workers. I even felt the freedom to share how I was feeling [at the time.]”

Zavala shared that when she landed a job offer at Productos Unión, she was going through a dark patch, including feelings of depression and deep-seated distress. “Daily devotionals, however, and counseling sessions with plant chaplain Melbin Mamani helped me to overcome those destructive feelings and feel reassurance,” Zavala said.

When Zavala felt God was working in her life, changing it for the better, she felt compelled to talk to her co-worker Curo, who also made a decision to follow Jesus.

Church and company leaders were happy to report that Productos Unión has already become the second largest baking products company in Peru. But selling more loaves is not the company’s ultimate mission, leaders reminded guests and friends present at the inauguration.

“Productos Unión provides options not only for people’s physical health but also for their spiritual health,” leaders said. “And both lines of products are 100 percent healthy.”