“We know that a diet based on the consumption of fruits and vegetables is essential to enjoy good health, and that organic agriculture helps protect our environment. Furthermore, experts have often confirmed that eating organic food is healthier. Our range of organic products aims to respond to the growing number of people trying to prevent the intake of chemicals. Therefore, we are making great efforts to increase our production. Currently, 10% of our production is already organic,” states Thomas Anderson, General Director of Unexport.
Broccoli and Iceberg lettuce, the most demanded organic products
The company currently has nine products in its organic line: cauliflower, mini Romaine lettuce, baby lettuce, Iceberg lettuce, courgettes, pointed cabbage, white melon, baby watermelon and, of course, broccoli. “Our range of organic products is growing rapidly and we want to continue expanding it,” affirms Anderson.
“At the moment, broccoli and Iceberg lettuce are the most demanded products in the range, although it the interest shown by our customers in watermelons, Romaine lettuce, lettuce heads and courgettes is also remarkable.”
A single brand for both conventional and organic products
“At Unexport we work with a single brand strategy. All our products, organic or not, have a great reputation, both in Spain and abroad. For this reason, we have not considered the creation of a second brand for the organic range, because information about their production is properly conveyed by their organic certification seals,” he says.
Is it difficult for a retailer to find organic producers?
Thomas stresses that the cooperative members have undertaken the move towards organic farming in a very responsible manner, as it is an aspect increasingly related to sustainability, the environment and the people’s lifestyle, whether rural or urban, although it is true that organic farming requires a greater workload than conventional agriculture and entails certain difficulties.
“Better training for specialised growers and technicians is needed, and access to products for pest and disease control is also more difficult. Market demand is also small, with limited information to consumers about the benefits of organic products. Going organic involves a lot of work, but the result is well worth it,” he assures.
“Fortunately, our more than 12,000 hectares of production are located in Murcia, Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha and Valencia, as all these regions have firmly established, high quality production systems. This greatly facilitates the move from growers towards the cultivation of purely organic foods,” he adds.
The future of agriculture is increasingly “green”
For now, the main destination for Unexport’s organic products is Scandinavia, where there is continuous growth in the supermarket segment, and also in France.
“From our point of view, ecology is fortunately a value that is increasingly more important in every aspect of society, so that its relevance will continue to grow. Food is one of the key aspects of this sustainable mind-set, and in this sense, organic farming offers a host of advantages that the consumer is increasingly aware about,” states Thomas Anderson.
“In Spain, we have everything necessary to maintain a profitable and competitive organic farming industry: we have fertile lands, an extraordinary climate, products recognised worldwide for their taste and, above all, producers with a deep knowledge of agricultural labour. The future of agriculture is green and at Unexport we are determined to be an active part of this global trend towards healthier eating.”
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