Planasa has boosted its agricultural operations in North America with the acquisition of Red Bluff, California-based NorCal.
The family-owned business, one of the biggest strawberry and raspberry nurseries in the US, has more than 85 years of experience in the nursery and fruit production business.
The deal allows Planasa to expand its activity in California, where it has operated its own nursery producing strawberry plants since 2011. The combined sales volume of the two companies will make Planasa one of the largest strawberry plant nurseries in the US.
“NorCal is a recognised and historical company, with a good team and strategic real estate operations in the US. Our goal is to provide NorCal with the financial and management resources to fund its modernisation and to stimulate growth and increase its market share,” said Alexandre Pierron-Darbonne, president of Planasa.
This is Planasa California’s sixth strawberry and raspberry production season. "At Planasa we saw the opportunity to improve the existing supply of strawberry plants in the US by introducing modern and improved technologies for their production,” Pierron-Darbonne said.
“A few years later we can say that we have contributed to significantly improve the quality of the plants sold in the market.”
Navarra-based Planasa has grown every year in its more than four decades of operation, particularly in last three or four years. Sales have risen from €59.2m in 2013 to €106.3m in 2016 and it has doubled its number of employees to more than 2,000.
Its most important varieties include Sabrosa-Candonga and Sabrina strawberries and Adelita and Lupita raspberries.
"Candonga and Sabrina are two leading varieties in Europe, and in Mexico, we are developing a new variety called 0949 and that is working very well. 0949 and 0232 varieties have also established a reasonable market share in California, "said Pierron-Darbonne.
The company is now expanding its product catalogue through the development of new varieties of blueberries and blackberries, with trials due to get underway in different locations in Europe and America in 2018.