(April 14, 2:57 p.m.) Pandol Bros. Inc. is closing its doors in Chile, but the Delano, Calif.-based company plans to continue doing business there.

“We’re not changing what we do in Chile, but we are changing how we do it,” said John Pandol, the company’s Mexican operations chief.

Pandol said the company started shipping product from Chile in the mid-1970s and opened Servicios Agricola Pandol Bros. Ltd. in 1987. That company offered sales and marketing services to Chilean growers exporting product to North America.

Pandol said changes in technology and the company’s longstanding relationships with Chilean growers had made the office unnecessary.

“In the late 1970s and early ’80s communication with Chile was poor and expensive,” he said. “Today we have cell phones and the Internet. It’s possible to communicate with the export office, field men and anyone.”

Pandol said Bill Lewis, who had been the company’s Chilean representative, will leave the company at the end of April. One other full-time employee and one part-time employee also were let go.

“We think highly of him,” Pandol said of Lewis. “We’ll help him with the transition.”

Pandol said the decision does not affect Agro-Frio, a Chilean grape grower and exporter owned by Pandol Bros. He said Agro-Frio accounts for about 25% of the company’s Chilean business. The balance is sales and marketing services. He said Pandol Bros. will handle about 2 million packages of Chilean product his year, the majority of which is grapes.