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Alcoaxarquía is expanding

The group has created a subsidiary in the Valencian Community, in 2022 it opened some new installations in Peru, and it has achieved a market share in the US and in Asia.
Alcoaxarquía Perú

Full speed ahead. This is how the current situation of the Alcoaxarquía Group could be defined. The company from Malaga is maintaining its growth strategy on both sides of the Atlantic. Last year it opened its new premises in Nazca (in Southern Peru), with capacity for 500 containers and all set for a foreseeable expansion of up to 1,000 containers. In Spain, it has started up a subsidiary in Sollana (Valencia) that will open on the 15th of February. Alcoaxarquía Levante has been established with the intention of giving added value to the producers in the area and to the clients, bringing greater proximity in an Autonomous Community in which at present there are 2,800 hectares of avocados and that has become the second region in surface area of tropical fruits, after Andalusia. Additionally, another added value is to give priority to local produce, José Antonio Alconchel, Executive Chairman of the group, explains.

In the installations belonging to this subsidiary, with a surface area of 3,500 square metres, they have the capacity for 2,000 tonnes of pre-ripened avocados, both from clients from the Levant area and from their overseas farms. “Currently in the Region we have production from 400 ha of local producers and we are reaching partnership agreements. We also foresee having between 100 and 200 ha of our own production over the next few years in the region,” José Antonio Alconchel advances to Fruit Today.

On a group level, Alcoaxarquía has a total of 1,800 cultivated hectares. In 2022, they invoiced 63 million euros; 51 million in Spain and the rest in South America. Including all their references, they have over 24,500 tonnes, with avocado as the main product, with approximately 16,000 tonnes in the 2022 campaign and 20,000 tonnes forecasted for 2023.

The market share continues to see a rising volume. “We have already put one foot in the United States, where we have already reached important agreements. We have also opened up new markets in Asian countries such as Japan, China and South Korea. In all these destinations they export the fruit from their controlled productions in Peru.

Regarding the production systems, their future is organic. All their citrus fruit production is bio, with 480 ha. And in avocados, 60% is ecological and the remaining 40% is under reconversion. “Every year we add another 300 hectares of eco,” Alconchel details.

Parallel to this, the company continues working on new developments, without taking the foot off the gas pedal regarding innovation and growth rhythm. For the year in progress, they plan to enter the avocado derivatives processing industry. They are also developing studies with different universities on the subject of R&D+i on rootstocks, indoor and outdoor ripening, water footprint, carbon footprint, etc. For example, alongside the Instituto de Hortofruticultura Subtropical y Mediterránea La Mayora (IHSM – La Mayora Institute of Subtropical and Mediterranean Fruit and Vegetable Growing) belonging to the CSIC they are carrying out research to homogenise the quality and organoleptic properties of the fruit using different rootstocks depending on the region and climate, as well as nutritional control, both of the plant and the fruit. The goal is to provide quality fruit 12 months of the year with the same flavour, controlling all the processes, from sowing to marketing.

“We market what we produce.” To do this they have created the digital ecosystem ALCOnature, which allows them to control all the process, from the production to the supermarket shelves. In this way, they offer “Controlled production and quality.”

With regard to sustainability, they continue incorporating new bio-compostable, recycled and recyclable formats and materials to minimise the use of plastic materials.

Natural medicine

The Executive Chairman of Alcoaxarquía defines avocados as natural medicine. “They are sold by piece, not by kilo, and they are one of the healthiest foods that we can eat, in addition to the fact that they combine with many dishes.” These advantages put them in an unbeatable position amongst consumers who want to look after their health. “Consumption continues to rise. Although prices were to increase by 50 cents a kilo, it would not mean an important increase compared to all their healthy properties.”

This year, the sector is experiencing a rise in prices derived from the generalised lower offer of kg/ha due to the drought and the poor setting of the fruit. An increase in prices which, however, does not reach the important rise in costs suffered by the companies, with around +40% for the different inputs and labour costs.

“We hope that, when the campaign has moved on, the prices will start going up,” José Antonio Alconchel states. “Last year the sector worked with losses and we can’t keep this situation up.”

In Peru, the situation is expected to be similar regarding the decreasing evolution of the volumes. With the campaign just starting, a drop in production is expected compared to preceding campaigns as a result of the weather phenomenon La Niña, which for the first time this century has lasted for three years running. Alcoaxarquía Perú will be able to compensate part of this drop with the entry into production of its new farms and increase its growth planned for the 2023 campaign.

Presence at Fruit Logistica

From the 8th to the 10th of February, the Alcoaxarquía Group will be present at the Messe Berlin to exhibit its products and meet up with clients, both old and new. “We will come with representation from our Peru subsidiaries. It is a good chance to discover where the new trends are going and what the situation is in different fields.” They can be found in the South

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