After 20 years and although Horticoalba Co. is a family consolidated company which produces frozen and canned vegetables, they are looking for new markets as they are in a constant innovation and development process.
Juan Martínez Moraga is the manager of Horticoalba and in this interview we can know how they work in this sector.
QUESTION: Nowadays, does Horticoalba have many products in the market?
ANSWER: ‘We have two sections. One is of frozen products in big formats which are sold to other factories or groups. The smallest format weighs 10 kilos, so few people know it. We have corn, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, onion…All of them are frozen products. We also have canned food which is in all the distribution. Our main products are corn, peas and quinoa’.
Q: How can you guarantee and keep the quality of the products on their way to the table?
A: Currently this process is essential, furthermore it is demanded. We always treat with the farmer. The water and the soil is analysed, we run the crops and later grow them. From the momento where the product is sowed to the final period, frozen or canned, we take notes and registre to keep the quality of the product’.
Q: Furthermore, ecological products are becoming important.
A: We are growing. This year we have doubled the production of ecological food and the sales too. We want to sell all the products as ecological, if it is posible, in a period of 5 or 6 years’.
Q: Wanting innovation, you have a process of complete treatment of the quinoa. What is the situation of the project?
A:’We have carried out this quinoa project for one year. Sales are slowly growing, but continuously. It is a project that we have in the national market and in exportation, although it is less present’.
Q: Talking about exportations, which countries is Horticoalba in?
A: ‘We are mainly in the markets of the European Economic Community. In France, Portugal, Belgium, Holland… We have greatly started this year in Italy. Because of the type of products we have, we are also in the North of Africa and the sub-Saharan area. Now we have started in Israel with corn, and in Qatar and United Arab Emirates’.
Q: Will you open new markets in the future?
A: ‘We are attracted by the idea that ecological products are starting to be sold and with a high demand, even in Canada. So, in a short period of time we will send products to Canada and Colombia’.
Q: What is the percentage of exportation of those countries?
A: ‘Today our exportation represents 52% and 48% the national one’.
Q: At a national level, how is your market? Is there a region to highlight?
A: ‘Because of the fact that we are in the great distribution, we commercialise in all the parts of Spain. Although being in Albacete, in the mediterranean área, is easier for us. We are more present in Valencian Community, Castile-La Mancha and Murcia’.
Q: Horticoalba is 20 years old. What do you think the reason of this success is?
A: ‘In a company of processed food, starting is a slow process. It is hard to be in a market as they are mature. In Horticoalba, one of the keys is the constant innovation. We have developed the company since we started working in children’s food, not only within the plant but also in the fields with the farmers, working with them for the development of better new varieties, more nourishing and with more characteristics for the alimentary purpose. I think that our success has been the perseverance and having the unconditional support of our family group to continue with this project. We can say that everything we sell is free of residue, and of any chemical product’.
Q: Let’s talk about ADIEX. How do you see the association?
A: ‘ADIEX is a necessary association because nowadays exportation is essential for any company of any sector. I think that we have left this issue of exportation for many years. In Spain, the crisis has taken one good thing, and it is that we had to look for foreign trades to be moderately an important company. If you don’t take into account the international market, you aren’t anyone. ADIEX is doing it well. Every year we do activities to foster and train people in the world of exportation. I think that the continuity of the association is essential for the business development of Albacete’
Q: Miguel Tapiador did a good job in ADIEX…
A: ‘Miguel is a classic in the world of exportation. When nobody exported, he did. He has done a really good job, apart from being a good person and a good friend’.
Q: Now ADIEX president is Iván Torres, with a board of directors where you are a spokesperson. What do you expect to get? What are your goals?
A: ‘To be able to get benefits from the development of more transversal projects, because of the fact that it is a multisectorial association. Actions in groups are more difficult to organise. To do that we have FEDA and other organizations. Iván has always been within the board of directors of ADIEX. Apart from formation in internationalization, we talk about innovation and development, international negotiation, foreign sales, distributor choice, more technical formation in logistics o international transportation, advice in occupational hazards to fulfill the regulations in other countries, database work of purchasers and distributors, etc. We consider that this is the way that ADIEX must follow, being pioneering in Castilla-La Mancha’.