The Alginet and Benifaió cooperatives have reached a commercial collaboration agreement that is initially focused on persimmon but is open to the rest of their productions if circumstances warrant it. The goal of the agreement is to concentrate the supply to compete in an increasingly demanding market and obtain the best possible results for their partners.
The agreement has been in the making for a long time and was to be endorsed at a recent joint meeting of the governing bodies of the Alginet Agricultural Cooperative (Coagri) and the Campo Hortofrutícola Cooperative (Cohoca). The commercial departments of both cooperatives have already begun to coordinate for the new campaign.
"We are among the leading cooperatives, but we've realized that we have to become bigger or we won't last long because of the steps that all the companies in the sector are taking," stated the president of Coagri, Enrique Gonzalez Arenes, adding that the agreement leaves the door open to the incorporation of other entities.
"It's evident that the offer must be concentrated in order to compete in the market. We can't forget the past and the work done by many people to consolidate the cooperatives, but we have to manage the present and build the future. That's what the two cooperatives are trying to do, build the future so that farmers have the possibility of making a profit," stated the president of Cohoca, Jesus Tortosa.
Tortosa said that there was a possibility of advancing in this alliance later on with the creation of a second-degree cooperative that allows reducing structural costs. A merger is a very difficult step, Gonzalez stated. However, this collaboration agreement can serve as an experience that will teach the parties involved the advantages of this type of alliance in case of any future mergers, he added.
The agreement takes place in a campaign in which the hail and the plague of the cotonet are going to wreak havoc. Coagri, which initially estimated would produce 30 million kilos in this campaign, now estimates there will be a 40% reduction in their production. In turn, Cohoca assumes there will be an important decrease in their production, which was initially estimated at 8 million kilos.
The signing of this collaboration agreement between the Alginet and Benifaió cooperatives occurs at a time of mergers in the sector: the three cooperatives from Marquesat are negotiating their merger, which might also include the cooperative from Real; Copal de Algemesí has reached an agreement to join the second-degree cooperative Green Fruits; Carlet and Guadassuar have established Ribercamp, and l'Alcúdia and Alzira have signed an agreement to market citrus and persimmons.