Clasol and San Alfonso merger: A winning strategy for small farmers

Both from Burriana (Castellón), the family business and the cooperative have merged their activities within an ambitious business project.
Wed 13/09/2023 by Pierre Escodo

On Tuesday September 12 in Valencia, the manager of the family business Clasol, César Claramonte, together with Emilio Balaguer, president of the San Alfonso cooperative, announced their organisations’ merger in an efficient and unique business format in the citrus sector. The Claramonte family producer joins as a partner member of the OPFH cooperative, while San Alfonso takes 50% of the capital of Clasol, which leads the group’s post-harvest and sales operations. The new group represents around €123 million in turnover expected for the 2023/2024 season, with 2,500 hectares of crops, 4 manufacturing warehouses and supply to around 30 countries throughout the year. Clasol’s berry and stone fruit crops complete the new group’s year-round activity calendar. Supply programmes also include citrus imports from South Africa to serve large European distribution at the end of summer, when national production is no longer in stock.

Doubling of turnover in 5 years

The group’s objective is to double its turnover within 5 years to €210 million through the benefits offered by the merger: increased capacity to develop new markets, warehouse modernisation, and investments in future alternatives for the 800 families that live off the group activities, such as organic crops, zero-residue citrus and new varieties. These products include Orri, Tango, Nadorcott, Leandri and pink flesh oranges. Clasol has allocated 100% of its sales to exports, but San Alfonso is also present in the Spanish domestic market. Clasol has invested in sustainability and ecology, while San Alfonso has been developing the export of citrus with zero residue for several years already working with some specific chains. “We also feel stronger in the face of competition from the new financial groups, the purchasing power of large retailers and external adversities such as climate change,” said César Claramonte and Emilio Balaguer.

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