For the past decade, consumption of organic products in central and northern Europe has grown substantially, motivating producers to convert their crops and acquire organic certifications. However, "in recent years the supply of organics has increased so much that it is now greater than demand; as a consequence, average prices are going down," explains Fernando Martín, Manager of Procam S.C.A.
Based in Motril, in the Spanish province of Granada, Procam S.C.A. is a cooperative devoted to the handling and commercialisation of agricultural and sub-tropical products. It was founded in 1983, when several producers in the area with large avocado and custard apple plantations formed the association.
Over the years they started incorporating popular products, such as tomatoes, cucumbers or beans, and seven campaigns ago they started growing organic tomatoes and cucumbers in greenhouses. For the past three years, all kinds of different products have been incorporated to the organic range (round, cherry, pear cherry and vine tomatoes, California and Italian peppers, courgette, etc.).
"Our most demanded organic product is definitely Dutch cucumbers," he affirms.
From the month of April this year, Procam will start selling organic avocados, and "next year the campaign will begin with large production volumes," says Fernando Martín.
Approximately 30% of Procam's revenue comes from organic products, 100% of which are exported, as organic consumption in Spain is almost non-existent. Its main export market is Germany, with 60% of the production, a market which, according to Fernando Martín, is growing. Other relevant markets are France, the Netherlands and Denmark, and to a lesser extent, the UK, Sweden and Switzerland.
Due to climatological reasons, Fernando explains that during the Autumn-Winter season the production of organic products is exclusively Spanish, and in Spring-Summer its export markets also compete.
These organic products are distributed under the PROCAM BIO brand, although many supermarkets are labelling them with their own brands.
Fernando Martín Callejón, Manager of Procam S.C.A., at his stand in Fruit Logistica.
Procam took part once again in Berlin's Fruit Logistica, exhibiting its line of organic products with particular stress on the introduction of avocados. "This fair is always positive for us, although the fall in the number of visitors was noticeable."