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Coprohnijar – strong commitment to experimental research

Almeria’s benchmark cherry tomato company was founded in 1986 and today remains a pioneering cooperative in the research and development of integrated production cultivation techniques.

Almeria’s benchmark cherry tomato company was founded in 1986 and today remains a pioneering cooperative in the research and development of integrated production cultivation techniques.

For the past decade, it has farmed 20 ha of its own tomato and watermelon plantations and 400 ha belonging to its members, located in Almeria in southern Spain.

Ten hectares of the firm’s own plantations are used for greenhouse cultivation, including a section dedicated to experimenting and testing both new varieties and the most cutting-edge innovative growing techniques.

“The commercial department’s job is to analyse which type of tomato we need for each client. Only then does the technical department select the varieties offered to us by all the seed manufacturers, testing them to see which is the best,” said Coprohnijar CEO Juan Segura.

He said the most successful item in the market at the moment is the cherry tomato, which saw an 8% increase between 2015 and 2016.

The company’s main export markets are the Netherlands, Germany and the UK, as well as other EU destinations.

Coprohnijar has its own customer portfolio, but Segura stressed it is open to taking on new clients and hopes to open up to other countries as well, for example Saudi Arabia.

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Costa de Nijar seeks new flavours

Costa de Nijar is a company that offers both conventional and organic products, including  tomato (pear - long life - Canary - Vine - cherry & cherry pear), cucumber, aubergine,  courgette and watermelon (mini).

The Campo Hermoso cooperative is permanently seeking new varieties in order to achieve better flavours and textures in its produce and supply its customers with a wider product range.

Company CEO Miguel Lopez said Costa de Nijar is currently doing a lot of work with cherry tomatoes, “looking for new varieties to find better flavours.”

This is because Costa de Nijar always strives to get the most out of its products and supply its customers with excellent foodstuffs. A large percentage of the output is exported, mainly to the European market – Germany, Belgium, France, England, Holland, Austria, Poland, Denmark, among others, with a smaller percentage shipped to United States, in addition to the domestic market (Spain).

Costa de Nijar is a company that trades both conventional and organic products, including tomato (pear – long life – Canary – Vine – cherry & cherry pear), cucumber, aubergine, courgette and watermelon (mini). Tomato is the company’s major crop. The farmers and exporters have approximately 200 ha in area of Nijar, Almeria. The firm is currently engaged in projects to increase this area over the coming year.

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Anecoop celebrates 40 years with 120,000 tons of watermelons

After forty years working to achieve greater profitability for fruit, vegetables and wine, Anecoop is celebrating its anniversary with its partners in every province of Spain where Anecoop has a commercial office: Valencia, Murcia, Almería and Sevilla.

After forty years working to achieve greater profitability for fruit, vegetables and wine, Anecoop is celebrating its anniversary with its partners in every province of Spain where Anecoop has a commercial office: Valencia, Murcia, Almería and Sevilla.

They certainly have reasons to celebrate – it is the top fruit and vegetable company in the Mediterranean, the top citrus exporter and second seller in the world, as well as the top operator for watermelons and persimmons in Europe. Its brands are present in major sales outlets in over 70 countries worldwide.

This season, Anecoop will sell about 120,000 tons of watermelons, with 40,000 of them from Almería.

It is worth remembering that in 1992 it successfully launched Bouquet in Europe, the first seedless watermelon, in one of the most remarkable achievements in Spanish horticultural experimentation.

During the 2016 campaign for Bouquet Watermelons, there will be promotional activities in France, the Czech Republic, Spain (Canary Islands) and, for the first time, in Poland and Belarus, in order to increase brand awareness. These will be specific activities on television and in the social networks, as well as tastings at events involving sports, culture and children. In Poland, the promotional activities will be carried out in various places in the Warsaw market. The total investment for this campaign comes to €500,000. 

This article appeared in edition 143 (May/June 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read more from that issue here: www.eurofresh-distribution.com/magazine/143-2016-mayjune

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Unica Group offers staff colorectal cancer screening

Screening is the best way to prevent colorectal cancer, which is the most common cancer in Spain, for both sexes, affecting more than 400,000 people and with 30,000 new cases a year. However, there is a 90% success rate for treatment if detection occurs at an early stage.

Unica Group is offering its employees, cooperatives and partners aged over 50 the opportunity to participate in a screening programme for colorectal cancer.

The Almeria-based group said the move is part of its ongoing innovation, including in the area of corporate social responsibility, and reflects the importance it places on the health of its workers and partners.

Medical specialist José Manuel Rodríguez Laiz said the Unica Group initiative is one of the first of its kind in the field in Spain and a very positive one.

In a joint press release, he said screening is the best way to prevent colorectal cancer, which is the most common cancer in Spain, for both sexes, affecting more than 400,000 people and with 30,000 new cases a year. However, there is a 90% success rate for treatment if detection occurs at an early stage.

Unica Group spans companies in Almería, Granada and Murcia, namely the Cabasc, Casur, Cohorsan, Cota 120, El Grupo, Ferva, Parque Natural, Agrolevante and Parafruts cooperatives.

Today, March 31, is colorectal cancer awareness day.

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Agroponiente with booming market and organics

Agroponiente confirms its market expansion in the organic segment, in Poland and North America.

Agroponiente is a company located in the Spanish Southeast, mainly in Almeria, but also with facilities along the coast of Granada, cultivating and trading fruit and vegetables such as tomato, cucumber, pepper, aubergine, beans, melons and watermelons, among others. Supply volumes for the current campaign are forecast to be similar last year’s, with slight variations per product and depending on how the market develops, as well as factors affecting it such as foreign competition, weather conditions and other eventualities.

New investments in packing and logistics

Throughout the year just closed, the firm invested over €2 million in upgrading facilities, mainly investing in logistics, reception processing and preparation services for produce in several of its centres. The aim is to continue the ongoing process of adaptation to market demands, while improving the product preparation logistics to meet each customer’s needs. Agroponiente continues its commercial philosophy based on reinforcing the strategies already up and running with its traditional customer base. For several years now the company has been working to open up new niche markets in countries such as the United States and Canada, although the bulk of its production is shipped to Europe, especially to Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, Italy and the booming Polish market, among others.

Organics, the biggest challenge this season

The latest big challenge for Agroponiente is organic production. To this end, a specific department has been created within the company, headed by Diego Oller, a professional in this segment with years of experience and knowledge. Agroponiente regards organic production as a reality with good future prospects for fruit and vegetable trading. To this end, the company has bolstered its activity in this area to meet growing demand from the markets. The company takes up this challenge with the drive, professionalism, knowledge and solvency gained through serving its customers for almost three decades. 

This article appeared on page 130 of edition 141, Jan/Feb 2016, of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read that issue online here. 

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Almería gains more consumers all year round

The Andalusian inter-professional body Hortyfruta and the regional agricultural department are redoubling their efforts for the spring campaign to satisfy melon consumers. “No unripe fruit” is the new slogan for the melon and watermelon campaign to raise awareness among farmers not to harvest melons and watermelons before their time. Their president Francisco Góngora advises farmers to “observe each variety’s minimum Brix,” so as to ensure the fruit’s flavour and sweetness demanded by the consumer. This means 9º Brix for watermelons, 10º for Galia and yellow melons, and 11º for Piel de Sapo and Charentais melons. The administration intends to carry out more than the 4,000 samples and 360 checks they did in 2013 (four times more than in 2012), when only 1.1% of watermelons were rejected, and less than 1% of melons.
Hortyfruta also carried out a survey on consumer preferences regarding melon varieties in several European countries. They specifically analysed consumption of Cantaloupe in France, and Piel de Sapo and Galia in the UK. Texture and sweetness are the main selection criteria, above aspects such as appearance or origin.

“We care, you enjoy” conquers England
In the third year of its campaign (until February 2015), the European promotion campaign “We care, you enjoy” is culminating in an intensive communication programme in England, with nutritionist Fiona Hunter as the spokesperson, of similar reach to the activities already carried out in Germany. The campaign has activities on the street (“off trade”: advertising at petrol stations, airports and motorways), inserts in consumer magazines (lifestyle types and supermarket chains), participation in consumer fairs (like the “Fit London Show” that attracted more than 12,000 women) and press trips for English and Scottish journalists to Andalusia and Murcia. 
Jointly funded by the Andalusian interprofessional body Hortyfruta and the Murcia exporters’ association Proexport, with support from the European Union and the Spanish government, “We care, you enjoy” has a budget of €3 million and will be renewed once the current programme has ended.
In addition, Hortyfruta has submitted a request for funding for a new consumer information campaign about “the good points in the European production system”, which is more sustainable, and their good farming practices. Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom are the chosen markets.
“We still have to generate synergies in our industry; there is still a lot of individualism,” claims Hortyfruta’s president, Francisco Góngora. He hopes to encourage more ambitious future projects, thanks to the new European regulation of the common agricultural policy and the new Spanish food regulation law. Both of them will give more support for promotional activities, fostering more sustainable agriculture and healthier consumption. “As an interprofessional body, we should also help reduce imbalances between production and distribution.” The interprofessional body is also working with the administration to draw up extensions to the standards, such as standardization and classification of products, and financing of promotional campaigns. Francisco also regrets the loss of farmers’ profitability, because “costs are still rising but prices are not improving.”