The San Isidro Agricultural Co-operative (CASI), devoted to the production and commercialisation of tomatoes, attended Fruit Attraction 2012, where their new campaign "Four Kings Poker" was presented. This year two new tomato varieties were added: Cherry and Cocktail.
"Our tomatoes, grown in La Cañada and Almeria's coast, have mild weather, many hours of sunshine, a land with ideal natural conditions and water high in salinity, allowing us to produce tomatoes with an excellent flavour that arrive to supermarkets before those produced in other European countries," explains José María Andújar, president of CASI. "Moreover, our tomatoes meet every requirement, certificate and quality and food safety control."
CASI's president, José María Andújar, presenting the new campaign
Almeria's tomato campaign begins in October and ends in June, with January, February and March being the most productive months.
CASI is Europe's largest tomato producer, with 225 million kilos last season, and offering varieties such as Red, On the vine, Pear, Green, Raf, Black, Rebelión, Cherry and Cocktail. "Having the greatest range of varieties ensures that clients will find what they are looking for. Clients who tried going elsewhere are coming back for the quality we offer and our reliability with shipments," said the president.
One of the best qualities of the company, according to José María Andújar, is the specialisation of its growers. "They are people who have devoted their entire lives to tomato growing; a craft passed from one generation to the next. This clearly shows in the flavour of the tomatoes."
One of CASI's warehouses
50% of CASI's tomatoes go to the Spanish market and the other 50% are exported to European countries: France, Poland, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, the Scandinavian countries, the Baltic countries, Great Britain and Germany. "In the case of Raf tomatoes, they go mostly to the national market because their shelf life is quite short. We also have an on-line shop for their sale from the month of December: www.rafdecasi.com
," explains Andújar.
At last year's Fruit Attraction, the firm presented the Rebelión variety, with Vilmorin seeds; a variety with the traditional flavour of tomatoes, ribbed and red-coloured, with a very long shelf life. "We can supply this variety during the entire campaign to long-haul destinations." Vilmorin's managing director, Fabien Duffaut, adds that "Rebelión tomatoes could travel to Russia and back and still be good for consumption."
CASI's Rebelión tomatoes
CASI's president affirms that "in terms of commercialisation, we are studying entering markets such as China, India and other Asian countries. In terms of production, we have made optimal planning arrangements with the growers' cooperation for them to produce the most demanded variety by the market at any given moment. That way we avoid market saturation and keep prices as high as possible."
CASI has also opened communication with consumers through social media, on "Facebook/Casi-especialistas en tomate" and on "Twitter.es/cooperativacasi", both with over 1,000 fans. And for two years, a Comprehensive Management Plan has been implemented to continue improving in management, production and marketing.