Seed World

Early Action Smooths the Way for Both Travel and Contra-Season Production

CIS Agro

Nicolás Sahli is the CEO of CIS Agro, a Chilean seed production company with worldwide reach in counter-season production. He is a fourth-generation businessman and grew up immersed in the family businesses, first in the hospitality industry, and later with CIS Agro. As CEO, Nicolás has been able to expand CIS Agro’s business, both in the international and the domestic market. For example, in 2018 he agreed to a joint venture with US-based Gro Alliance to deliver seed research services in Chile and in 2022, CIS Agro became exclusive distributor of Dekalb corn in Chile. Nicolás was also co-founder of The Singular Hotels in Chile and remains a member of their board. These high-end hotels have been nominated for many years in a row as the best hotels in Chile and rank in the top 5 of Latin America. His vast hands-on experience is bolstered with a Bachelor of Business degree from Universidad de los Andes, in Chile, and a Diploma in International Business from UC Berkeley. With experience in many different businesses, Nicolás learned the importance of service, trust, transparency, long-term relations, win-win and many other values he ensures the entire CIS Agro team delivers to their clients.

Share Post:

You’d never know from how calm my house looks that soon we will be locking the door and heading north for two months. We head to North Carolina in June each year to escape the rainy Chilean winter. My children benefit from immersion in English, and I spend time with our North American clients. I’ve learned that when packing for a whole family, planning early is the difference between chaos and sanity!

The first year was the most complicated. We needed passports, insurance, housing, transportation, and to find summer camps for our children. This took a fair bit of planning and coordination that couldn’t happen at the last minute. Subsequent years were simpler because we’d been through the process.

On travel day, I like to be certain we are packed, organized, and that we leave with plenty of time to get to the airport. I would much rather spend time working in a lounge at the airport than scrambling to rearrange a missed flight. 

With five children, sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned. One year, in the taxi on the way to the airport, we realized my child’s dental retainer had been left behind.  Thankfully, we had enough time to arrange for our nephew to bring it to us at the airport. A good team is so valuable.

Contra-season production similarly favours early preparation and a great team. Ideally, Canadian companies looking to contract to Chile should have their plans in place by July. 

In Chile, we (like other contra-season suppliers) contract acres from skilled local farmers for our contra-season clients. Contracting early assures the best quality farmland.  Additionally, planting early (before Oct. 15) dramatically increases the odds of getting the highest possible yields. 

We also want to get the seeds shipped to Chile as soon as possible in case there are any delays or snags in that process. Just as we need to clear customs and immigration when we travel to a different country, we have a regulatory process to follow when moving plant products across the border. You have a team on your side, and we can smooth the process more easily if we have ample time. 

As I’m preparing right now for this year’s adventure in North Carolina, now is also time for you to set your contra-season plans for this coming growing season. The first year might have some bumps in the road, but we’re here to help you. The years after that will be smooth sailing.