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Vicente Aguilar: "Organic potato consumption is on the rise"
Patatas Aguilar celebrates 50th anniversary and will invest 4 M€ in new machineryLast Friday, Patatas Aguilar celebrated its 50th anniversary with an event in Valencia that brought almost 250 people together, including employees, customers and suppliers of both potatoes and seeds, with representatives of the Dutch seed companies HZPC and Agrico. The celebration was attended by the Autonomous Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, Francisco Rodríguez Mulero; representatives of Carrefor and Consum, as well as numerous agents of the production sector. Guests arrived in Valencia from different points of Spain, France and the Netherlands.
Aguilar family, with Vicente Aguilar, his wife and his son Robert Aguilar
Vicente Aguilar Montoro, who currently runs the business founded by his father, used the event as a stage to present his son Robert Aguilar as the third generation. "My father worked at a fertilizer warehouse in Paiporta, and I decided to stop studying at the age of 15 to work with my father. We started buying potatoes and other products from producers to sell them at wholesale stalls in Valencia and Castellon "The business was so good that we ended up leaving the fertilizer business to dedicate ourselves exclusively to potatoes," Vicente Aguilar tells FreshPlaza.
The Valencian company has become a leading name in the potato sector, with 50,000 tonnes marketed each season and an annual turnover of almost 20 million Euro.
Vicente Aguilar, General Director of Patatas Aguilar, during his speech.
The sector has changed a lot in all this time, both in the way of producing and in the way of selling the potatoes. "Fifty years ago, potatoes were not sold in 400 gram, 500 gram, 1 kg or 2 kg meshes, for example, as is done today, but in 50 kg sacks. In those years, large retailers were not as developed as they are nowadays; they now absorb most of the fresh potato volume, followed by the processing industry," explains Vicente Aguilar.
The company's business has diversified into many activities, from the distribution of seeds to the sale of potatoes to large retailers, wholesale markets and the processing industry, mainly in Spain, although it also exports to destinations such as France, Poland, the Scandinavian countries or the Middle East, where they even make shipments by plane.
"We were the first Spanish company to sell organic potatoes to large retailers. We started ten years ago and it was not easy, as it coincided with the worst years of the recession. In recent years, organic consumption has grown strongly. This year, sales to our customers have increased by 30%. The consumption of organic potatoes is on the rise," affirms Vicente Aguilar. "We like innovation, and making life difficult to our competitors," he jokes.
Coinciding with its 50th anniversary, Patatas Aguilar has decided to make a strong investment in the modernization and updating of its product reception and selection machinery. "The first stage of this 4 million Euro project will start with the installation of optical sorting lines capable of scanning 175,000 potatoes per hour," points out Vicente Aguilar.
The event took place in a relaxed atmosphere and everyone attending had the chance to properly celebrate this very important landmark for Patatas Aguilar.
For more information:Patatas Aguilar
Paco Valverde (Communications)
+34 626 638 287
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