ED. 133. Fruit Attraction 2017 / Tropicales

‘We will grew by 200% in organic’

The expansion undergone by Grupo La Caña will not only involve tropicals but also cherry tomato and cucumber, besides other vegetables which they are growing organic for the first time.

Interview with Antonio García, Commercial Director at Grupo La Caña.

What are last season’s trade figures and this season’s predictions?
We marketed 11,000 tonnes of Spanish avocado last season, 1,000 tonnes of mango and 1,000 tonnes of custard apple. This season we will hit circa the same volumes but for mango, which is expected to grow by 20%. Nevertheless, the true qualitative and quantitative leap will come from our line of organic, in which we expect production to expand by 200% in mango and avocado.

How could this line of organic further develop?
We believe commercial margins should be tighter in order to boost consumption, as consumers are paying exorbitant prices for bio products. More so considering that Spanish conventional avocados are clean, healthy products on their own hence an organic certification would not justify such a price rise.

Any novelty for the 2017/18 season?
Indeed, we are experiencing a strong increase in organic products, not only tropicals but also in cucumber and cherry tomato. In addition, we are to open new bio lines with California pepper, truss tomato, Caniles pear tomato, zucchini, and beans. As for conventional produce, we are to start producing green mini pepper. Regarding packaging, we keep banking on our exclusive format, wich is a tray including one ready-to-eat avocado, a sweet bite mini pepper, and four cherry tomatoes of different flavours. Furthermore, we have several R&D projects in motion in collaboration with important players in the field of research, such as CIDAF, CTA and TECNOVA among others. These projects focus on improving production, processing, manufacturing, automation, and preservation of fruits and vegetables, also committing to circular economy models. Also in terms of innovation, we will conduct together with the Andalusian Technological Corporation (CTA) a technical workshop on innovation with several work groups involving researchers, companies, and independent entrepreneurs of the sector.

Are you investing in facilities too?
We are enlarging our cooling chambers in Eurocastell and we are investing in filling machines with higher production capacity, better reliability, and improved product treatment. Besides, we are enlarging our Miguel García Sánchez e Hijos facilities in Puntalón, which will increase our cooling capacity considerably. To the already operational ones, we will add three new gauging lines with smart sensing for cherry and Caniles pear tomatoes, for avocado, and for mango.

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