Afrucat A

Catalan fruit association Afrucat has presented a new investment plan setting out the priorities for the sector in the coming years.

Next Fruit Generation estimates that the sector with need €370m over the next five years in order to remain competitive, efficient and resilient.

The plan outlines six strategic pillars of investment aligned with the European recovery funds. These are: renewable energies, digitisation, productivity, resilience, social integration and climate change.

One of its flagship projects is the move towards greener energy through the creation of an interconnected energy association of fruit companies, with the focus on investments in solar energy.

In terms of digitisation, the aim is to integrate the entire supply chain, from field to store into a single, online platform, harnessing the power of big data to enable companies to make more agile decisions.

“Productivity improvements will come about through the greater adoption of automation in the field and packhouse, while better resilience will be built by investing in anti-frost systems,” Afrucat said.

“Our plan to improve social integration includes building new homes for workers and beefing up protection against harassment. Finally, efforts to tackle climate change will focus on developing new varieties adapted to local conditions.”

Afrucat said the biggest area for investment would be on productivity improvements, to which 38 per cent of the total budget has been allocated. This is followed by climate change (26 per cent), renewable energies and resilience (19 per cent each), digitisation (6 per cent) and social integration (3 per cent).