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Lázaro, unstoppable

In 2008, the company became the first 4.0 industry, and from that point onwards, its evolution has been constant. Today, it has put its sights on process innovation and sustainability.
cristina patatas lazaro

Fruit Today magazine talked to Cristina Lázaro, Sales and Business Development Manager, to comment on the company’s latest developments.

How has Lázaro evolved over the past 5 years? And specifically last year, which was atypical due to the price of potatoes at source.

We used the arrival of Covid as a year of reflection that has culminated with an organisational change, along with an evolution in all aspects. We have changed from being “Patatas LZR” to “Lázaro, personas que alimentan a personas”(Lázaro, people who feed people). This might just seem to be a change of name, but it has been much more, as it has helped us to lay down our foundations and define how we want to continue working, where ethics form part of us and it is essential to apply them across the board.

Over this period, we have gone from selling potatoes to being a multi-product company, with garlic, onions and sweet potatoes, aimed at the modern distribution channel. In terms of crops, we continue to firmly opt for Spanish-grown produce. Over the past few years, we have planted up to 400 hectares/year.

At Lázaro we practice ‘Terrología’. Thanks to bringing together 2 passions, such as the land (tierra) and technology, we have pioneer installations in the agricultural sector. Back in 2008, we were the first 4.0 industry specialising in potatoes in Europe, an industry that is alive: it is upgraded, it adapts to new needs and innovations in processes. We have also tackled subjects aimed at being more efficient and sustainable: 100% digitalised processes (paper-free), photovoltaic installations, cyber-safety projects, adaptations of the lines to new products such as Calixta. We have a storage capacity of 1,500 t.

Which brands is the company working with at present?

At Lázaro we see the brands as another communication route; it is important that they connect with people and transmit this care and attention to detail. Through the packaging, we communicate with the consumers to help them in their purchase decision and we even give them tips on storage or how to cook in a healthy way.

Our brands are:

Freshnatur. Created over 20 years ago by the second generation. In 2018 it was recovered and used as a product brand, through which we have developed the different products with which we work. In 2020, it won the GOLD prize for the best packaging design at the Best in Food awards.

Pappins. It is our alternative to the more traditional concept of potatoes that attempts to link different generations and families together who want to enjoy cooking. It has been worked on from a more entertaining point of view, becoming a fresh, modern potato brand.

AgriD’or. It is the result of the combination of Agria and Golden potatoes, with its characteristic golden colour when cooking. It is designed for people who are looking for the best golden, crunchy chips, grown in Spain. It is available all year round for the Horeca channel and modern distribution channel.

LZR. This is the long-standing brand from Lázaro’s portfolio, and we work with the ‘bestsellers’ of the category, which are the 3kg and 5kg formats with versatile potatoes.

Calixta, the quickest potato is our latest launch. It corresponds to the new market requirements with a wholesome, healthy and fast fresh-cut range, which only needs 7 minutes in the microwave.

Where are the crop regions concentrated?

We have crops all over Spanish territory, as, in addition to working with our own crops, we work with trustworthy farmers.

In the case of our crops, we have hectares in Seville and Valencia, remaining true to local produce when it is in season. We like to work with both winter and spring crops, as we are ‘N+Ñ’, that is to say, we supply Spanish new potatoes 365 days a year.

Which are your main markets?

We work from large distribution to markets where we are aimed at the HORECA channel and we even work with companies dedicated to ready-cooked or processed food. We have been “0 waste” from the very beginning of our business; therefore, for us to be able to diversify in channels, this not only makes us more efficient, but rather it guarantees being able to sell all the cultivated produce that reaches Lázaro.

What is the evolution of the Calixta Potato in the fresh-cut segment?

If we had to summarise the evolution in a single sentence it would be: “Calixta has come to stay.” Right now, it continues to be a niche market, but we can see it evolving and growing faster than all the other references.

What actions are you taking to promote sustainability?

At Lázaro, sustainability holds an transversal role that we understand as a way of acting and working, focusing it particularly on a work method that covers environmental, social and governance aspects.

On the environmental aspect, we have managed to reduce our impact in plastic with one million bags less thanks to the introduction of new materials. Our washing method is circular, which makes us sustainable and efficient. We use less than the contents of a soft-drink can to wash 1 ton of potatoes. We recycle along the entire chain and we have been supplying our product in 100% recyclable packaging since 2008, helping to complete the recyclability circle.



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