Anecoop, Spain’s biggest cooperative grouping, posted a 6 per cent increase in sales to €702.5m in 2017/18, a new record for the company. Its sales volume for the corresponding period fell by 2.8 per cent to 812,000 tonnes.
Together with its international subsidiaries, the group’s turnover topped €900m on a sales volume of around 1m tonnes.
Representatives from Anecoop’s 70 cooperative members were told at its annual general meeting on Friday how, in spite of 2017/18 being a complex campaign, the group had managed to secure another profitable year for its grower partners.
Vegetables were the fastest growing category, with sales climbing 10.5 per cent in spite of the significant weather challenges faced by growers.
In terms of volume, citrus led the field, with Anecoop accounting for 8 per cent of Spain’s total citrus exports. Although production was down in 2017/18, higher prices led to a 12 per cent increase in the group’s citrus revenue on the back of a 1 per cent rise in sales volume.
Meanwhile, the incorporation of new members like Fruits de Ponent allowed Anecoop to expand its stonefruit offering. At the same time the group saw a tripling in its papaya volume, making it the number one producer in Spain, while other production of other tropical fruits such as pomegranates and kiwifruit also continued to rise.
Anecoop also highlighted strong sales of its Bio organics range, which rose by 26.6 per cent on 2016/17 and now account for 3 per cent of the group’s sales volume and 7 per cent of its turnover.
The group’s prepared and ready-to-eat offering also grew significantly, with sales of the Bouquet para Preparar and ¿Y Si? de Bouquet ranges, part of the company’s Slow Food concept, reaching €2m. The incorporation of prepared vegetables specialist Huercasa into the group last year further strengthens its convenience offering.
“Only an organisation of our scale is capable of providing solutions and offering a service to such an essential sector,” said president Alejandro Monzón. “As a grower, member and president of a cooperative myself, I believe that Anecoop provides the necessary solidity and security to enable us to face the future.”
“The campaign stood out for its intensity and difficulties, with product shortages at certain times, but we nevertheless achieved the best results in our history…and provided optimal profitability for our agricultural partner,” said the group’s managing director Joan Mir.
He went on to praise “the work of the professionals of our cooperatives and partner companies…for their constructive criticism, which always helps us to improve, for their constant support, which makes us more committed and more competitive, and the personal relationship that makes Anecoop a more humane company”.
Anecoop exports to around 70 countries worldwide. Europe is the main destination, accounting for 92 per cent of sales, with France its biggest single market, taking 197,000 tonnes of fruit, vegetables and wine. For the third year in a row, Spain was the second biggest market, taking 162,000 tonnes, and Germany was in third place with 151,000 tonnes.
Sales to Eastern Europe have grown significantly in recent years, reflected by the group’s investment in new facilities at its Polish subsidiary, Anecoop Polska, which were inaugurated at the end of 2018.