The second-degree cooperative Unica Group has closed the 2019-2020 season with 500 million kilos marketed, a notable increase compared to the 395 million kilos it sold in the 2018-2019 agricultural season. The cooperative is growing at an average rate of approximately 20% per year and in this particular season, despite the health crisis, it has grown by 25%. José Martínez Portero, president of Unica, says that “we should congratulate ourselves for having achieved this goal. We are very proud, but we want more.”
The growth of the second-degree cooperative is driven both by the organic growth of existing cooperatives, which have increased their volume by 3% thanks to the incorporation of new producers, and by the joining of more cooperatives, namely Coopaman, Sunaran, Copisi and Nulexport, which have contributed a growth of 22%.
Ahead of the 2020-2021 campaign, marked by the impact of the pandemic, the general director of Unica, Enrique de los Ríos, says that given the uncertainty, they are only planning for the short term. "We don't know what will happen tomorrow; we are very concerned about the whole COVID situation. The good thing is that we are in a sector that continues to do fine in general, and exports are still underway. Our customers need to eat, and to eat healthy, and Almeria is a global hub for healthy food.”
As for the prospects for this new agricultural campaign, De los Ríos expects to reach 600 million kilos next season and 1,000 million kilos in four years. But progress is not only expected in terms of volume, but also in terms of quality. He says that Unica will make improvements in the field of product processing.
The second-degree cooperative is currently working on the integration of new firms. At the moment, Unica Group is made up of 16 companies, including Camposol. The president of this company, Antonio García, says that it has been four years since they joined the Unica project and in that time the cooperative society has been growing hand in hand with the second-degree one. Thus, Camposol will close this 2019-2010 campaign with some 29 million kilos, 9 more than in the previous one.