The Catalan sweet fruit sector is one of the strongest and most competitive in the world, as well as being a pillar of the internationalization of Catalonia’s processed food industry. The country, which exports more than a 75% of its products to foreign markets, is the fourth largest producer of pears, peaches and nectarines and the eighth largest producer of apples in the world. Catalonia has a total of 50,000 hectares of fruit trees, which produced around 900,000 tonnes of fruit in 2016, especially in the case of apples, pears, peaches and nectarines. About 90% of the fruit is used as fresh products, whereas 7% is used by the processed industry.
These days, fruit trading companies are of major importance in the agri-food sector, both because of all the work done towards the defence of these products and the optimisation their commercial processes and to improve their quality. These entities are well-known for encouraging innovation, environmental preservation and food safety (integrated production systems, which guarantees traceability of the product, from the field to its commercialisation), all beneficial to the consumer.
The major sweet fruit trading companies ActelGrup –from Lleida- and Fruits de Ponent –from Alcarràs-, together with the Asociación Empresarial de Fruta de Cataluña, called Afrucat, will take part once again in the Feria Agraria de Sant Miquel (Salón Nacional de la Maquinaria Agrícola) and Eurofruit (Feria Profesional de Proveedores de la Industria Frutícola), competitions that will be held on September the 28th and October the 1st 2017 at the Fira de Lleida.
Afrucat will take part in the Feria Agraria de Sant Miquel-Eurofruit with an interactive stand and a program of activities to promote Catalan fruits and their consumption. Afrucat is the primary association of organizers of producers in the country. It represents 32% of the Spanish stone fruits production and gathers almost 100% of the Organizaciones de Productores de Frutas y Hortalizas (OPFHs) of Catalonia. Their aim is to promote both the viability and the future of the Catalan fruit companies, as well as the inhabitants who depend on it; to favour information exchange, technological transparency and agricultural advice; to support innovation, internationalisation and geographical differentiation of the production; and to promote fruit consumption among society and the knowledge of market demand.
This year, the 25th anniversary of Fruits de Ponent will be celebrated during the Feria de Sant Miquel-Eurofruit. The focus of the Group at the fair will be on its members, to provide a space to exchange opinions and meet after the summer season.
The Group will continue promoting its commercial catalogue “La Buena Fruta, 365 días”, since new fruits have been added every single month of the year. As one of the leading stone fruit groups in Europe, Fruits de Ponent has more products than it used to, with pomegranates, kakis or even extra virgen olive oil, which is produced in the Molino de Alcanó. The Group commercializes around 60 million kilograms of fruit a year and has a clear aim of exporting, reaching 4 continents and more than 50 countries.
ActelGrup is a second-tier agricultural cooperative. The group is formed by several sections: Actel, which commercialises fruits; Ada, which commercialises grains, phytosanitary products, fertilisers, combustible and seeds; Agroles, which distributes oils, nuts, vinegars, pâté, cava, etc.; Central de Seguros, which is the main insurance brokerage company in the agricultural sector; and finally IberAlfa-TransAlfals, which is one of the major fodder cooperatives in the country.