To Berlin without plastic and with solar energy
Last October, at Fruit Attraction, Los Gallombares already presented some new packaging formats made of 100% recycled and biodegradable paper.
“We are abandoning plastic. Moreover, we have a personalized service that allows us to offer any customer a caliber, format and packaging tailored to the needs of consumers in their countries. Creating a custom product is essential today, and that is another of our strengths: meeting customer demands and creating a relationship of trust, ”says Mónica Cuberos, head of marketing at Los Gallombares.
"In a few weeks, we will be presenting our news in Berlin, although the biggest item won't be visible. We are talking about our corporate environmental program. In 2019, we have reduced our energy consumption by 22% thanks to the use of solar panels, and by 2021 we want 60% of our energy to be solar," says Mónica Cuberos. "This is a corporate responsibility and a social commitment."
“Campaigns overlapping due to climate change”
Green asparagus of the largest variety in Europe, and perhaps the world, are grown in the fields of Western Granada. “Our production area is optimal and has unique characteristics: the rainfed land is particularly fertile; the temperatures, ideal, and the hours of light, perfect,” says Mónica Cuberos.
"We have green asparagus 365 days a year. In normal weather conditions, the campaign runs from March to June, but climate changes have an impact on these periods. The dates change due to a lack of climate stability. In recent years, each campaign has been different; you have to improvise. The future is uncertain. Two seasons ago, the temperatures dropped and the campaign was delayed by a month, overlapping with the asparagus from Mexico and Peru," says Monica.
Los Gallombares is the largest European company devoted to green asparagus. Created in 1993, it has not stopped growing: “Green asparagus are increasingly popular because of their nutritional properties (ideal for low-calorie diets, diuretic, with fiber, etc.) and their gastronomic appeal, but also because they are a sustainable vegetable that doesn't consume a lot of resources, since it is rainfed. It needs little water, so the rain is enough,” says Mónica Cuberos.
“We started in the domestic market, where we have a stable market with recognized brands. We currently sell to countries across Europe, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, and since 2019, to Singapore. And we remain open to any market.”
“Our competitive advantage is to have chosen a variety that acquires a good shape, an intense green color and a unique flavor which is only achieved by growing in this area. Customers appreciate this and know that we are environmentally conscious, which brings added value.”
This cooperative, with a total of 800 members and 2,000 hectares, handles a total of 7 million kilos per year. “During the campaign, we never stop. We have 5 warehouses open for the goods and professionals workings in perfect coordination. This is the only way to obtain such volumes and preserve the quality,” says Monica.
José Ángel Delgado and Mónica Cuberos at Fruit Attraction 2019
“The logistics and having a network of contacts are essential”
“It is true that, in addition to a quality product grown responsibly, keeping the logistics under control is essential. In our case, we have partnerships with competent transport companies that manage to overcome the obstacles experienced in recent times due to external events,” says Mónica. “Asparagus is a delicate product and the temperature in the trucks has to be constant; the cold chain cannot be broken. Relying on very professional companies is the key to Spanish products exported to faraway destinations. The same applies to air transport for our shipments to Singapore.
“In the fruit and vegetable sector, expanding is not always the way. It is almost as or even more important to maintain relationships with all-time customers. In fact, we participate in important fairs not only to open channels, but also to encourage direct contact with our regular customers,” says Mónica Cuberos talking about their presence at Fruit Logistica in Berlin. You can find them in Hall 18, stand 11G.