The company will have around 190 ha in ecological crops in the next campaign
“The market will tell us.” The Chairman of the cooperative from Almeria, Coprohníjar, Juan Segura, advances that, at the moment, no limit has been set for growth in the ecological segment. This year they will close the 2020/21 balance sheet with 15 million kilos produced under the bio label and around 170 ha of ecological crop surface area. For the next campaign, 2021/22, they will incorporate another 15 to 20 ha of the 40 that they are reconverting. Therefore, next year they will have around 190 ha. “The market will tell us when to stop. We have the management capacity and we must take advantage of the situation while it lasts,” the Chairman of the cooperative continues. And the fact is that, although this year the prices have suffered and, in general, have been “weaker” than the ones from last year, they are still profitable for producers. A trend that could change in the years to come with the gradual increase in bio volumes and a rise in the number of operators. “In the end, the offer will end up exceeding the demand,” he predicts. The question is when.
Regarding the ‘From Farm to Fork’ strategy that the European Union has started up, Segura feels that it lays down the bases for a premise that is more cultural or ideological than practical. “The reality is that our conventional production is already only one step away from ecological crops. We use auxiliary fauna for our crops and the current plant protection products are so ‘light’ that they don’t even harm the beneficial insects.”
In Coprohníjar’s ecological portfolio tomatoes predominate, with the largest volumes. In addition to tomatoes, they offer a wide range of produce, consisting of courgettes, peppers, aubergines, cucumbers, melons and watermelons. In order to manage all this production, two years ago they opened some specific installations for handling ecological crops and in 2021 they will add new machinery (mainly packing machines), with a more contained investment.