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“We are planting the same or more”

Hoyamar is sidestepping the water shortage and continues to increase its production and seedbed surface area on its 25th anniversary

The water shortage has become an endemic problem in south-eastern Spain, but many companies are not being intimidated and they are seeking solutions to continue with their productions. In the case of Hoyamar, not only are they maintaining their 1,800 hectares of crop surface area, but they are increasing it and they are doing the same with their seedbeds, looking for alternatives through crop rotation in different areas depending on the time of the year and optimisation of irrigation water.

We met up with the chairman of the cooperative from Lorca, Domingo Llamas, during a campaign when it is celebrating 25 years in the business. An iconic figure and one that gives them the strength to continue pushing forward, if possible, even more forcefully. “We expect to celebrate another 75! But in order to do this, we hope the political leaders will help us a little and will think about us. They should reconsider the subject of water so that we can continue generating wealth and employment.”

Llamas tells us that they plan to increase their volumes by around 18% this year, exceeding 30 million euros. A special mention should be made of the ecological line, a segment that has grown at a rate of 100% since it was started up 3 years ago, with broccoli as the main produce.

With diversification as the key to their current strategy, they are also increasing their leafed vegetable portfolio (oak leaf, endives, lollo rosso and lollo bianco…), along with cauliflowers. For this produce, “Brittany is the area that is marking out the route, although the customers who are looking for quality come to Spain.” And looking to the future, they continue moving forward in the development of a fresh cut leaf range that could be ready for the 2019/20 campaign.

Two years ago Hoyamar inaugurated its new premises for processing of leafed vegetables, in the vicinity of its main facilities, now exclusively used for broccoli. They have a wide range of produce, and they have closed the 12 month cycle in several of them (broccoli, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce…) to supply their mainly European customers, although the company continues to extend its market share in Arab countries and in the USA.

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