Spain’s leading organic fruit and vegetable exporter, HaciendasBio, increased its production by 61 per cent in 2018, leading to a sales volume of 32,200 tonnes.
The company, which exports 90 per cent of its output to 17 countries, also reported a double-digit rise in turnover, with sales totalling €32m.
HaciendasBio recently announced a capital investment of €4m to consolidate its development, acquire new farms and boost research and development projects.
“We are very satisfied with the results obtained in 2018, since they reflect the growing demand for organic fruit and vegetables both in Spain and Europe,” the company’s general manager Paco Casallo said.
“Regarding the domestic market, our commitment to democratise organic fruit and vegetables is helping to increase organic consumption. This, along with the fact that our team is fully involved and engaged with the project, is behind our ever-improving performance.”
The company significantly increased its workforce last year, moving from 80 to 163 permanent employees, 40 per cent of which are women. At the peak of is season it employs more than 1,000 workers.
Major milestones reached last year include a 32 per cent increase in productive area to 2,200ha, spread across 35 farms in Extremadura, Andalucía, Cataluña, Aragon, Canary Islands and the region of Valencia.
In the second quarter of 2018 the company opened its Ecological centre in La Albuera, a new industrial facility for handling and packaging fruits and vegetables which has an intelligent energy control system to optimise the plant’s operation.
Covering an area of 400ha, the complex hosts the company’s new corporate headquarters, plus laboratories, a research centre and an energy plant. The facilities will also house a nursery school based on the Waldorf pedagogy.
Concerning new products, HaciendasBio has continued expanding in 2018 its portfolio with the addition of new crops of leafy vegetables, bringing its range to 19.
It also increased its fig and cherry production, which in its first season reached a volume of 145 tonnes.
The company also extended its nectarine and peach seasons, and added new varieties of yellow plum, melons and watermelons. It is due to introduce new products such as apricots, persimmon and pomegranate in 2019.
The company’s Biovivo brand increased its presence on the domestic market, and is now available in 1,000 stores. Sales of the brand reached €2m, making up 5 per cent of total turnover.
Biovivo is the first “multi-reference” brand of organic fruit and vegetables in the Spanish market with more than 45 products which can be found in various retail outlets, from specialised stores to supermarkets.
Biovivo products are now sold in Consum, Eroski, Caprabo, Euromadi, Alimerca, Mercabarna-Rafols, Cal Fruitós, Carrefour, Ahorramás, Merca Madrid-Olivar y Hermanos Martín, amongst others.
Biovivo is also the first brand in the Spanish market that has designed fully sustainable packaging without the use of plastic.