With an unstoppable consumption increase in Spain, the producers and national marketers of kiwi have a unique opportunity to gain market share. It is true that we compete with large multinationals, but the national kiwi has a great opportunity “if we are able to offer a great product with reduced costs” says Francisco Javier Feito, manager of Kiwi Astur. And this is exactly what we find when we visit the facilities of this company.
Their peculiarity is that they have just landed as producers, but with the experience of having been commercializing this product for many years. “We came up with the opportunity to get the Kiwi Astur brand. Then we supported the objective to keep and manipulate the product. And two years ago, we decided to become producers as well”, explains Feito, who recognizes that this way they gain specialization.
They have implemented in their new plantations techniques that although they are not pioneering, but innovative in the area. It is really unusual to find a single farm of 40 hectares dedicated exclusively to one product. This is a great advantage, since it allows economies of scale to be applied that considerably reduce production costs. “We have also opted for the cultivation in pergolas, reaching up to 25% more production than with the traditional system.” We apply techniques of Integrated Production, almost ecological we could say: a plantation with natural grass where we use herbicides or other phytosanitary treatments, use of organic fertilizers and the irrigation system is studied to give the best use of water resources, the idea is to be economically efficient and respectful with the environment”, the manager describes.
The aspects that make Kiwi Astur different can not be seen only in the farms. But also in the new plant that they have just inaugurated. Modern facilities equipped with cameras with controlled atmosphere, with capacity for more than 2,500 tons. “We will achieve a better storage of the product, less waste and, above all, to extend the campaign even until the end of August,” says Francisco Javier Feito.
Together with Luis Pablo García, responsible for product marketing, we visit this new headquarters, very close to the central offices. At this time, the beginning of November, there is still little activity, but during the next ten months there will be a continuous coming and going of quality fruit, exquisite kiwi that is able to compete in flavor and quality with those of other origins.