The cooperative’s growth plan involves making investments in automation that increase their preparation capacity
To reach this goal, the organisation is studying a new technological approach for its main centre that involves automation. “It is a project that we think is essential if we want to continue growing,” according to Alex Creixell, the Manager of the cooperative.
And the fact is that Giropoma Costa Brava’s main goal involves reaching 40 million kilos in a decade, a volume that is much higher than the current figure of around 30 million. “Within our strategic growth plan we have to choose between having more human resources or launching ourselves towards full technification. At peak times of activity, it is much easier to manage machines.”
As a new development on the production land, the start of plantations with the Candine from Frutaria stands out, which will begin during this year. This will also be the first campaign with volumes of ecological apples and a production of Joya that is substantially higher, going from a volume of 60,000 kilos to almost half a million.
In spite of this, the “most traditional” variety, Golden, continues to have an important weight in the cooperative’s variety distribution, reaching 20% of the total. “15 years ago, 80% of apples belonged to this variety because it was the one demanded by the Spanish market. However, today it has become a commodity with an important price war that we must maintain to supply all our clients.”
In terms of sustainability, biological control of 100% of the cooperative’s farms has now become a reality with regard to Carpo Capsa and Cydia Molesta in recent years. All of this together with an irrigation system that minimises water usage per tree. And inside the main centre, it is becoming increasingly common for the produce to be prepared using materials that are alternatives to plastic. “This is a demand made by society and, obviously, by large distribution and we have to accept these changes if we want to move towards a more sustainable world. Additionally, some apples such as Pink Lady or ecological produce, do not admit any other type of packaging,” Creixell comments.