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Spanish citrus sector appeals to supermarkets not to buy South African citrus

Spanish citrus sector appeals to supermarkets not to buy South African citrus


Valencia’s main agricultural professional organisation, La Unio-Uniò de Lluradors, has asked retailers in the country to minimise purchases of South African citrus. The appeal comes after the discovery of prohibited substances in South African fruit. There are 62 active substances used in South Africa that are banned in the EU, 13 of which are defined as “very dangerous” for human health by the WHO.

La Unio has defined its appeal: “a form of sensitivity towards farmers, but above all consumers”. Meanwhile, the organisation is also asking Brussels to block imports from countries where banned active substances are allowed in agriculture.


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Valencian association laments absurd prices of South African citrus

Valencian association laments absurd prices of South African citrus. All rights reserved.

The Valencian Farmers’ Association (AVA-ASAJA) has complained about the “nonsense” prices currently being fetched by South African citrus in European retailers. After what the association has described as a “ruinous campaign” for Valencian producers, with prices not even meeting production costs at some points, South African citrus is now going for four times the price. The association goes on to claim that the fruit from South Africa is produced under worse socio-labour conditions than those produced in the Valencian Community. It further highlights the risk of pests and diseases such as black spot which is common in South Africa but has not yet reached Europe.

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SanLucar annouces its changed organizational structure

The multinational fruit company is making changes to its structure in order to concentrate even more on its operations and to further expand its clear differentiation.

In spite of the excellent sales forecast for the campaign 2018/2019 of around 440 million euros – a growth of almost 9%- SanLucar has announced a revised organisational structure. With it, the focus will be on its established management, which has grown organically, and on its international fruit and vegetable specialists. SanLucar is thus concentrating even more on its operative business in order to set the course for the future.

“From field to fork, our priority is to successfully perform all our value chain activities”, explains Stephan Rötzer- founder and owner of the company. That is why we have opted for a structure, in which the best experts in each part of the value chain lead the decision- making process: Starting with the selection of varieties, cultivation, logistics; to presentation and advice at the point of sale, in order to be able to offer fresh fruit and vegetables with the best taste to consumers”.

“These experts are already in our management team and we want to expand their responsibilities to drive our continued growth”, explains Stephan Rötzer. “Thanks to their know-how in their respective areas of expertise, we will continue working to differentiate SanLucar brand in the global fruit and vegetable market”.

As a result, the CEO function disappears in the short and medium term within the changed structure of the SanLucar Group. This position was held by Michael Brinkmann, who leaves now the company. Moreover, the two founders of SanLucar, Stephan Rötzer and Jorge Peris, will take over the management of the company again.

Stephan Rötzer: “We are very grateful to Michael Brinkmann for his dedication and commitment over all these years. Michael Brinkmann has made a very important contribution to the current structure and also to the positive development of the last years. We are convinced that the clear focus on operations will help us to continue to be innovative at all levels, as well as to differentiate our high quality and taste products in the fruit and vegetable market.

About SanLucar

SanLucar, the premium brand for fruit and vegetables, is a globally positioned enterprise with subsidiaries in Germany, Austria, Spain, Tunisia, South Africa, Ecuador, Benelux and Dubai. In 1993, the company was founded by Stephan Rötzer and Jorge Peris and employs approximately 2,800 people today, the majority of them working on the company’s own farms and in SanLucar offices on four continents. With a range of more than 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables from more than 35 countries, SanLucar is the brand with the broadest assortment in the retail trade. In line with the philosophy “Taste in harmony with people and nature”, SanLucar is a responsible player on the global fruit and vegetable market and is currently expanding into the Arab Gulf States, Russia and Canada.

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Abysmal state of market for Valencia’s stone fruit

Abysmal state of market for Valencia’s stone fruit

Valencia’s stone fruit producers are gloomy about the prospects for the season ahead. Demand for the fruit is very low among European major retail chains, according to AVA-ASAJA. This is causing a “real collapse” at the outset of the new campaign and is greatly concerning growers who are unable to find outlets for their fruit at prices that would at least allow them to meet production costs. This is the point of the season when prices should be at their highest. This year’s fruit quality is said to be of excellent quality due to the good number of cold hours.

The AVA-ASAJA urged local and national administrations to support growers to prevent an “irreversible disaster”. Suggestions include removing large volumes of fruit from the market place urgently.


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Unica Fresh opens commercial delegation in Valencia

Unica Fresh opens commercial delegation in Valencia

The new office will offer clients of this strategic area a more direct and personalised treatment

Unica has opened a new commercial headquarters in Valencia that will cover the entire Levante area. The new office’s first addition is Rubén Morte, who has previously worked in positions of commercial responsibility and quality in several production and marketing companies and who will be responsible, in addition to managing client and products of the entire Unica group, for providing support and service in the city of Valencia and its surrounding areas.

Unica has taken this new step with the aim of serving its current customers and potential distributors better and more directly. The firm has decided to increase its presence in Valencia, which represents a key location. With this office, closer treatment will be provided in an area where a large part of the activity of marketing and export of agri-food products is concentrated.

There are numerous distribution chains and purchasing centres for international supermarkets located in this region, hence the decision to establish a physical office in Valencia to continue providing customers the best service.

Contact details of new commercial office:

Avenida de Francia, 44

Entresuelo-Office 16 46023 Valencia

Contact telephone number: 607 343 482

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20th AECOC Fruit and Vegetables Congress to be held in Valencia on June 19-20


More than 500 experts from Spain’s fruit and vegetables sector will meet in Valencia for the 20th AECOC Congress. The event will offer market data, analyse trends and share success stories of leading companies in the sector. The event will begin with a presentation by Pedro J. Domínguez (Nielsen) followed by Cindy van Rijswick (Rabobank). Rabobank will share market data that will help contextualise the current situation and offer an overview of the new opportunities and challenges for the global fruit and vegetable industry. Nielsen, meanwhile, will describe the increasingly demanding consumers of fruits and vegetables and their demands (pleasure, convenience or sustainability).

On the subject of organic products, there will be presentations from HaciendasBio, Almaverde bio and Carrefour, which has opened the first urban supermarket with exclusively organic products. Sergio Román, from Auchan Retail will share the firm’s experience of incorporating a controlled production line to offer products with taste, responsibility and proximity. In addition, Álvaro Muñoz, CEO of AMC Fresh Group, will present the keys to success and the vision of the future of the leading company in citrus and fruit juices.

The congress will also feature the vision of Eurogrup Spain Frutas y Verduras and Metro Food Sourcing Fruits and Vegetables, two distribution leaders with almost 80% of the sales of Spanish fruits and vegetables. They will discuss the challenges and opportunities for the sector, such as the commitment to a more efficient and sustainable value chain or innovation.

Precise innovation, agriculture 4.0 and the impact of new technologies in agribusiness will also be discussed in a round table that will feature the participation of Miguel Sabater of Deloitte, and disruptive startups such as ec2ce, a benchmark in artificial intelligence, and HEMAV, which works in precision agriculture using drones.

Furthermore, the congress will address the keys of digital marketing and new communication with the consumer with Gonzalo Madrid, chief strategy officer of the Wink agency. Gonzalo Madrid will present the keys to bringing value to the consumer and becoming the chosen brand.

The event will close with an inspirational presentation by Patrick Dixon, guru and renowned futurist and author of more than twenty books, who will show us the future of our sector and the keys to growth.

AECOC is the Association of Companies of Large Consumption, one of the biggest business organisations in Spain. It is the only one in which industry and large-scale distribution work together to develop good practices and technological standards that help companies to be more efficient and competitive, thereby providing value to the consumer. AECOC includes large, medium and small enterprises and represents sectors as diverse as food and beverages, textiles, electro, hardware and DIY, health and hospitality, among others. At the end of 2017, it had more than 28,000 associated companies whose joint turnover represents close to 20% of GDP.

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La Unio de Llauradors reports confusion of Orri and Nadorcott varieties in large retailers

mandarinas orri

La Unio de Llauradors has reported another case of consumer fraud, with the erroneous labeling of citrus varieties. This time it relates to Orri mandarins, for which citrus farmers pay the highest royalties, which are being sold in retailers as the Nadorcott variety. The association points out that Orri and Nadorcott are two different varieties that growers must pay plantation and commercialisation licenses to plant and market. The cost of royalties for producing and selling Orri are around €37,500 per hectare plus a fixed rate per kilo sold. Unlike Orri, Nadorcott is not a seedless mandarin variety and so is not as appealing to the consumer. Indeed, the price received by the Orri producer is currently €1/Kg, while for the Nadorcott it is €0.60/kg. La Unio believes this confusion is damaging the image of Orri and the sector as a whole and so demands the relevant authorities take swift action to end this malpractice.

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Orri app detects 113 allegedly illegal plots


In just two months late last year, 511 consultations were conducted on plots via the Orri App, a mobile application that identifies authorised holdings of the Orri, a protected mandarin variety.

Of these consultations, 113 corresponded to allegedly illegal plots which are now being checked by auditors from the Orri Mandarin Producers Association, the Orri Running Committee (ORC), according to a media release.

In the release, the Association of Orri variety producers (ORC) expressed its satisfaction with the reception of the new application among its members and the high usage it has already attracted.

The Orri App uses a GPS signal to identify Orri plots that have been sublicensed for production. It is thus a useful tool that helps ORC partners identify potentially irregular plots, in other words those that do not have necessary licence and are therefore infringing on their rights.

Results by province

Most of the plots detected via the app – 93% – are in the the Valencian Community. (The Valencian provinces of Valencia, Castellón and Alicante account for 53%, 37% and 3% respectively of the total.) However, there were also some detections in Murcia (2%), Andalusia (3%) and Tarragona (2%).

The ORC is promoting the use of the application in Murcia and Andalucía through telephone information campaigns as well as reinforcing the in-the-field detection of potentially irregular holdings of the Orri variety in these areas.

Legal action

The press release says that new cases are underway as a result of information obtained via the app. This legal action requires the cessation of the activity, destruction of the material, compensation according to the nature and characteristics of any operation that doesn’t have the required authorisation or a license from TEO (The Enforcement Organization, S.L.), publication of a press release about the seizure, as well as the adoption of measures designed to prevent further infringement.

The ORC said it considered that the period for voluntary compliance under the licensing system for this variety, which ended in April 2016, was ample and widely diffused in the media, thus there is no longer the possibility of legalising non-compliant plantations.

It said the Orri Mandarin Producers Association, spanning more than 400 Orri growers, will continue to monitor, promote and finance litigation to protect the Orri variety and to ensure it remains one of the mostly sought-after mandarins on the market, while also increasing appreciation of its delicious taste.

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Mercadona to build its main warehouse in Valencia

Mercadona said that what it refers to as its new “main regulating warehouse” will in turn supply the company’s other warehouses across Spain, ensuring the necessary stocks of all types of products, regardless of their origin and final destination.

Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona has chosen a business park in in Sagunto, Valencia, for a new logistics block.

It said Parc Sagunt’s strategic location makes it one of the best options for the company’s main warehouse, which will be built in stages and in time supply Mercadona’s entire logistics network.

In a press release on December 7, Mercadona announced its €24 million offer for a 358,270 m2 plot in the park had been accepted by the park owners.

“This new project will allow us to increase our productivity and optimise the efficiency of the rest of our warehouses, in aid of achieving our objective, which is to continue to transport more and more, using fewer resources,” said Mercadona’s managing director of logistics Oriol Montanyà.

Map image ©2016 Google, Inst Geogr. Nacional

Mercadona said that what it refers to as its new “main regulating warehouse” will in turn supply the company’s other warehouses across Spain, ensuring the necessary stocks of all types of products, regardless of their origin and final destination.

Mercadona’s logistics network currently consists of 13 logistics blocks and 3 satellite warehouses.

Mercadona’s logistics block in Abrera, Barcelona (source: Mercadona)

In 2007, it opted for a new warehouse model and an “intelligent, innovative and fully automated logistics block.”

The company foresees replicating the intelligent warehousing model in the new logistics block in order to avoid unnecessary handling, strain and accident risk for employees while increasing productivity.

As at October 28, Mercadona had more than 1,600 stores in Spain, having opened 32 new supermarkets this year.

It has inaugurated 32 new supermarkets in 2016 and refurbished a further 28 stores to adapt them to its ‘atmosphere store’ model.

Mercadona closed 2015 with revenue of €20.8 billion, a 3% increase on the previous year, and with profit of €611 million, up 12%.

It is expanding to Portugal, where it plans to open four supermarkets in 2019 with an initial investment of €25 million.

Source of images other than map: Mercadona 

Read more articles about Mercadona here.


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Decco expands in Brazil

Postharvest products company Decco has opened a factory in Brazil that will act as a platform for its supply to Mercosur markets.

Postharvest products company Decco has opened a factory in Brazil that will act as a platform for its supply to Mercosur markets.

Located in the city of Ituverava in São Paulo state, the new plant is the only one in the country able to emulsify the polyethylene and shellac waxes that meet both domestic and export treatment requirements, Decco said in a press release.

An inauguration ceremony held in Ituverava on October 27 was attended by the local mayor, other government officials and representatives of local universities.

Decco said in recent years it has invested heavily in developing Latin American markets and seen a payoff in gains in its sales and market share.

The new plant underlines the importance of emerging countries in its growth strategy.

Decco is constantly helping markets with little or no post-harvest treatment philosophies to adopt this technology in order to increase their competitiveness and profitability, it said.

“Investing in Brazil is a very interesting development for Decco in a key region for the growth of the company,” said Decco Worldwide president & CEO François Girin.
Decco is the post-harvest division of United Phosphorus Limited (UPL), a global group in the field of agricultural supplies that also has phytosanitary products and seed treatments.