EUROSEMILLAS multiplies its investment in sustainable innovation and accelerates its diversification and vertical integration process
- It presents innovations in strategic crops, with varieties with a smaller water footprint and negative carbon balance: a mandarin -Kinnow Low Seed- later and bee-friendly; the Golden and Lost Hills pis-tachos, with its own new nursery in Seville; the new generation of avocados from the Green Motion project as well as the group's alliance with the Malaga operator Reyes Gutiérrez. - After the latest operation in the Lisbon area and the development of the Treemond macro-project, Euro-semillas has consolidated its position as a key international developer of innovative and sustainable projects, with more than 12,000 hectares operated, directly or indirectly, in three continents
Since celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, Eurosemillas could be said to have entered a new phase of development. The stage initiated years is if possible more aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda raised by the UN and assumed by the EU and is defined by a greater commitment to innovation - whose annual budget has multiplied several times - as well as by a process of internationalization, diversification and vertical integration of its business areas that, in recent years, has also accelerated. "When we celebrated the company's golden anniversary, we set ourselves the goal of a message - 'Sowing innovation' - which, more than a slogan, has become the company's leitmotiv. All the projects, alliances and investments in which we have been involved since then have been in this direction", acknowledges its CEO, Ana Cano. At Fruit Attraction -4 to 6 October, Ifema-, Eurosemillas will exhibit (Hall 8, Stand 8D01) its strategic bets on three crops in expansion -spring mandarin, pistachio and avocado- with new varieties that reduce their water footprint and, in many cases, even have a negative carbon balance.
"Feeding a growing population while reducing the ecological impact and improving the profitability of the producer is a complicated challenge that requires innovative projects that look beyond the immediate benefit, that have a greater projection in the medium to long term and that are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable," insists the CEO of the Spanish company.
Thus, since the beginning of the century, and even more so since the start of this decade, this race to gain an international dimension in terms of sustainable innovation, covering more stages of the chain, has intensified. As a producer and tester of its varieties, Eurosemillas has maintained land in Angola since 2007 where it grows and gins cotton, seeds and corn (some 5,000 hectares -ha.-); in 2013 it acquired a farm in Seville for mandarins and olive groves (500 ha.) and another in Toledo (200 ha.) for pistachio; in 2016 it took over another property in Lisbon to work mandarins and subtropicals (1,000 ha.) and in 2019 it came to control one more farm in Chile (400 ha.) for mandarins. At the end of 2019, Euro-semillas' participation in the Treemond group was finalized, which in 2021 began to implement an ambitious project in nuts that aims to grow pistachio, almonds and to a lesser extent walnut on more than 6,000 ha. spread between Spain and Portugal (4,000 of them already under implementation). In total, Eurosemillas now operates around 12,000 hectares on three continents (Europe, Africa and South America).
To consolidate its commitment to the avocado as a food of the future, Eurosemillas has recently taken two more steps. At the end of 2020, it announced the constitution of Green Motion, a platform that will expand the varieties and rootstocks available thanks to the breeding processes of the University of California Riverside. It is the largest and most ambitious research project for this crop, attracting the largest avocado producer and marketer on the planet, Mission Produce, and many other leading tropical companies. And to optimize the production systems, Eurosemillas closed in 2021 an agreement with the Malaga-based Reyes Gutiérrez -specialized in these crops- to operate a new farm in the Lisbon area (Portugal) where 200 ha. of avocado have already been planted and work is already underway on the first variety that has come out of this project, a pollinator that will improve the profitability of this fruit. The rootstocks and avocado varieties that will soon begin to be distributed from the Green Motion project will also be more productive, with smaller trees and therefore more efficient in water consumption, even contributing to sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere.
Along the same lines, the company is finalizing the start-up of its own pistachio tree nursery in Seville, specifically to supply the market with its Golden Hills and Lost Hills varieties. As in the previous case, these pistachios are more resistant to a possible decrease in the water supply, they are even planted in rainfed areas and, due to the areas where they can be grown and their high profitability, they are also being key to fixing the population in depressed rural areas (social, economic and environmental sustainability).
In citrus, on the other hand, a new spring mandarin has already been registered about one month later than Tang Gold (Tango), very low in seeds and of good caliber, the Kinnow Low Seed. As in the case of the former, this innovation also respects the pollinating action of bees and guarantees higher yields, thus providing more kilos of fruit per cubic meter of water consumed. As far as strawberries are concerned, new varieties will soon be on the market as a result of the agreement with California Berry Cultivars, another world leader in the breeding of this crop.