Historically, Spanish and French productions have always seen great rivalry. Today, this antagonism continues in consumers’ minds.
Abel Alarcón, manager of Agrios Selectos, and French-Spanish by birth, knows about this reality first hand. “There is a distorted view of Spanish productions and we are unfairly accused of not being environmentally-friendly or of using pesticides incorrectly.” To do away with these prejudices, Agrios Selectos and its client, Librefruit, have launched a video that explains where the crops are grown and the production methods used by Spanish citrus fruit growers.
Alarcón maintains that this bad reputation is not based on facts and that it is probably more due to the competition between the two countries. “It is true that strawberries come off worst, but this stigma is being magnified and it is also extending to citrus fruit. If French consumers were to know about the controls there are in Spain and the investments made in all the links of the production chain to improve it, this belief would disappear.”
In the same vein, and in spite of the difficulty caused for the earliest varieties, the company offers clementines that are free from pesticide residue. To do this, it applies very advanced steps to avoid the use of plant protection products, for example the use of netting on the ground to prevent weeds from spreading.
Regarding this campaign, while the euphoria for vitamin C has fallen, Alarcón states that “the market is very fluid for large fruit, but for the much more abundant, smaller-sized produce, there are certain marketing problems.” This situation means that many companies are diverting their production towards countries in Eastern Europe, where the demands regarding size are not so important.
However, everything indicates that the second part of the campaign will see the opposite case, where the Lane Late and the Navel Powel could have very good size.
The company, covered by the quality figure PGI Cítricos Valencianos, has just renewed the image of its flagship brand, Brio Fruits, and has also made a serious commitment to wooden containers, as opposed to cardboard. It also owns the Boliche brand, the result of its technological investment, which has allowed a greater product segmentation to be created. And there is also a third brand called Kaya.
The Valencian company holds the ISO 14001 certificate, which shows its respect and concern about all the protocols in terms of sustainability, recycling and the environment, in addition to IFS, BRC and Global Gap.