New partnership with Alsi is expected to open new opportunities not just in Spain but also in South America, says MD Omar Papi

Italian packing and grading technology company Futura has partnered with Almeria-based company Alsi to build a bigger commercial presence in southern Spain.

The companies, which will share a stand at the Fruit Attraction trade fair in Madrid during the first week of October, want to secure a bigger slice of the electronic grading business in places like Almeria, Andalusia, Extremadura, Murcia and Valencia, as well as the Canary Islands.

To that end, the companies plan to target producers of summer and tropical fruits like avocados, mangoes and dragon fruit. The plan is to offer them a more direct, more local service.

“,At the moment, we sell our electronic grading machines in the Spanish market only through our distributors,” says Omar Papi, managing director of Futura. “One is in Lleida, mainly for summer fruit like peaches, nectarines, apricots, flat peaches and apples. And with Alsi, at the moment we only build installations for tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in Almeria.”

He adds: “The purpose of this association with Alsi will be to offer the two companies’ very long experience – over 60 years in the sector – and try to penetrate the market in the south of Spain.”

Futura and Alsi Fruit Attraction stand

A mockup of Futura and Alsi’s stand at Fruit Attraction

From its headquarters in El Ejido, where it employs around 50 people, Alsi will play a central role in Futura’s expansion. “It will produce all of our sizers’ upstream and downstream machinery, and we will take care of the commercial side as well as assembly, installation and a technical assistance service.”

According to Papi, Alsi also has a lot of experience in robotics. “For over ten years, this has been integrated in our fruit and vegetable lines, and we use robots mainly for maximum flexibility and to reduce labour.”

And further into the future, the partners say they will also try to establish a more permanent operation in South America – including Peru, Chile, Mexico and Costa Rica.

The companies will work with new local partners in the region, some of whom have already been identified.

“The key things we focus on are very high-quality products, our long experience, availability, and flexibility,” Papi concludes. “Without ever forgetting that for us, the customer will never be ‘just a number’.”