Epigenetics for selling ‘live’ vegetables

Keops Agro is investing 20% of its invoicing in R&D+i. Its commitment to research has improved the quality and the yield of its offer

Keops Agro is characterised by the stability of its agricultural production. It specialises in ecological production at all levels, work that is reflected in its brand, 360º eco. “We started our production from the grazing land, with our own livestock that we use to prepare biofertilizers used on our crops of tomato, peppers…” Another of the signs that distinguish the company is its firm commitment to R&D+i, where a minimum of 20% of its annual invoicing is invested. Last June they displayed some of the lines they are working on within the framework of the Healthy Food Seminars that were held in its installations, located at Hacienda Campo Gádor. For several years now, the company has been working on a Nutritional Epigenetic research project led by the expert Carlos Meza, which studies how external factors and food affect human and vegetable health, to prepare products that improve harvest yields. This, along with its total control over the different production phases, allows a detailed traceability and benefits the harvest. “Our vegetables are alive; they do not only contain vitamins, but they also have a microbiology that is adapted to our organism, providing beneficial qualities”, Francisco Javier del Águila, manager of Keops Agro explains.

Five people work in the research department, studying how to optimise the harvests, different cultural practices to prevent pests, which nutrients should be used to ensure a disease does not appear… And they also test new varieties that adapt to the climate changes that have been occurring in recent years, as well as those that improve both flavour and other organoleptic qualities compared to existing varieties. One of the latest varieties that they have incorporated is Karamel Heart, a heart-shaped cocktail tomato that is harvested on the vine and that stands out due to its intense flavour. “It has become very popular in its second year of marketing and it has growth prospects for next year.”

During this campaign Keops has marketed 1.7 million kg of covered crops, mostly for export and all coming from their own production. They mainly sell to large supermarket chains that value their “working methods, the quality of the produce and the control and stability of the production,” Del Águila points out. The company from Almeria has a stable surface area: 20 hectares of covered crops and 30 hectares in the open air. “We are growing in produce quality and in productivity, rather than in hectares”.

 

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