Patatas Meléndez inaugurates 4.0 production factory

In an act presided over on March 29 by the President of the Castilla-y-Leon region, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, Patatas Melendez showed why it is the most outstanding business project in the agri-food sector in Castilla y León
Thu 30/03/2023 by Pierre Escodo
Official picture of the inauguration of the new Patatas Melendez factory with managers and employees
Inauguration plaque of March 28th 2023
Patatas Meléndez, a Valladolid company that had a turnover of €110 million in 2022, has just made history in the fresh potato sector. The company inaugurated its new automated factory last Wednesday, in which it has invested more than €36 million and whose advances are focused on maximising the quality of the potato, the company’s efficiency and sustainability. The event was chaired by Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, President of the Castilla y León Regional Government, and it took place at the production factory facilities. In addition, the company has invited Marc Vidal, an expert speaker on digital transformation, as a special collaborator at the event.

A special day

This inauguration act of an institutional nature has counted, among many other personalities, with the presence of the aforementioned president of the Junta de Castilla y León; representatives of the Hungarian Embassy in Spain; Virginia Barcones, Government Delegate; D. Jesús Julio Carnero, Counselor of the Presidency of the Junta de Castilla y León; D. Gerardo Dueñas Merino, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development; D. Guzmán Gómez Alonso, mayor of Medina del Campo; and Conrado Íscar Ordóñez, president of the Valladolid Provincial Council.

“Today, for me, is a special day: the inauguration of this factory with Industry 4.0 technology marks a before and after in the trajectory of Patatas Meléndez. If I decided to carry out this project, it is because I have full confidence in the potato sector, which is prosperous, and in all the potential that Castilla y León brings and, specifically, Medina del Campo, the enclave where the company was born and the one I want to continue betting on. This factory is synonymous with the future, technology and innovation, but also origin, continuity of cultivation and generational change”, Javier Meléndez, CEO of Patatas Meléndez, stated at the inauguration.

Patatas Melendez stands out for its agrarian plan and expansion to other countries

On the other hand, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, president of the Junta de Castilla y León, has alluded to all the benefits for the autonomous community that this Meléndez potato production factory is going to position itself as a benchmark in Europe. According to the president: “Patatas Meléndez is a company that stands out for its turnover and for its expansion to other countries such as France and Portugal, but, above all, for working in a different way with farmers and for having implemented an Agrarian Plan, which provides stability. It is a source of pride for this land to house the most modern factory in Europe which, without a doubt, is a commitment to innovation and to our region. This is a strategic sector, and thanks to factories like this, the agri-food industry in Castilla y León is one of the most important in the country”.

In the words of Virginia Barcones, Government Delegate: “In addition to its relevance in the economic framework of Castilla y León, we must value the contribution of this factory in the demographic challenge and in the fight against depopulation. Our agriculture is a living, rooted sector. Thank you, Javier Meléndez, for continuing to bet on Castilla y León and for helping to lay the foundations for the future of our land. The biggest challenge in the agri-food sector is to achieve social, environmental and economic sustainability, and companies like Patatas Meléndez show us that all these elements can be integrated”.

Automation and caring for potatoes like fruit

Guzmán Gómez Alonso, mayor of Medina del Campo, also dedicated a few words to all the guests: “Today is a great day for various reasons. In the first place because you, Javier, have shown that when you want, you can, despite the difficulties. Secondly, because in an era marked by globalization and relocation, businessmen like you, who were born in Castilla y León, have decided to bet on your land, and this factory contributes to laying solid foundations for the future of this town. and his region. Thirdly, because the agri-food industry is synonymous with possibilities for our citizens and our land”.

It should be noted that the facilities of this new factory, designed to provide a rapid response to the needs of our customers, are designed to treat the potato as if it were a fruit and to protect it, at all times, from mechanical damage. Among the most significant innovations in the factory, mention should be made of the introduction of optical sorters, which classify potatoes by size, shape and quality in a single process; anthropomorphic robots, thanks to which the productive capacity of packaging is increased; the implementation of an intelligent warehouse with a capacity of about 1,000 boxes of 800 kilograms each, which represents an increase of more than 700% compared to current storage; as well as greater energy use and optimization of the water cycle.

About Patatas Meléndez

Patatas Meléndez is the leading company from Valladolid in the fresh potato sector with a 20% market share in Spain. They are dedicated to selecting, packaging and distributing the best potatoes.

It sells 200 million kg of potatoes and closed the year 2022 with a turnover of €110 million. Today, it has a team of more than 370 professionals who work directly with the farmers subscribed to its Agrarian Plan.

During 2023 and under its powerful digitization strategy, Patatas Meléndez will inaugurate its new 21,600m2 automated and digitized factory, a factory that will position itself as a benchmark in the sector at a European level through the latest technology and based on maximum efficiency. This project, in which Meléndez has invested more than 36 million euros, involves the digitization of cultivation, the use of green energy and the reduction of the use of plastics in containers and packaging, as well as an efficient use of water in order to reducing its water footprint.

The mission of Patatas Meléndez is to ensure that the consumer has the best experience of flavour and identical and incomparable texture during the 365 days of the year.

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