Ricardo Miguelañez. Agricultural Engineer. @rmiguelanez
José Luis Bonet Ferrer, Chairman of Freixenet Group, is the focus of our Who's Who profile this week. Bonet Ferrer, born in Barcelona in 1941 into a family of entrepreneurs, is married and has 12 children.
He graduated in law from the University of Barcelona with an extraordinary degree award in 1962, and he graduated Cum Laude with a PhD in law from that same university, with an extraordinary PhD award 1967/1977.
He was Professor of Political Economy and Public Treasury at the University of Barcelona's Law School for 28 years, from 1984 to 2012.
Bonet Ferrer has an ample CV and an extensive professional track record, and during the course of his career he has held more than 40 major posts.
He was named Chairman of Freixenet Group in 1999 (a position he still holds today), replacing his uncle, José Ferrer. He has been President of the Leading Brands of Spain Association and of the Association to Promote Agri-Food Development since 2002, and has chaired the Alimentaria trade fair, held every two years in Barcelona, since July 2000.
He received the Medal of Merit in Commerce from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness in 2013. In 2014, he was named the first President of the Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Services and Navigation in Spain, responsible for promoting SMEs, self-employed workers and entrepreneurs through specialized support and assistance programs.
Century-old cava company
Freixenet has seen three different generations at its helm, and annual revenues amount to over 500 million euros. It is one of the few companies that is 100% family-owned, a distinguishing characteristic, and its members are well-known for always having been a tight-knit group.
It was founded in 1861, when Francesc Sala Ferrés created the first brand of wine for exporting in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia (Barcelona). The company shifted to cava in 1914 thanks to Pere Ferrer, who owns La Freixenada, a 13th-century estate in Upper Penedès. One century later, Freixenet currently has 18 wineries in 7 countries on 3 continents.
Although it's clearly in his genes, José Luis Bonet has an undeniable instinct for business and, in 1986, Nueva Empresa magazine ranked him among the Top 500 Executives with an impact on Spain's Economy.
As for details about his personal life, he is very discrete, but it is well-known that he loves classical music, reading, movies and soccer and, like any good Barcelona native, he's an enthusiastic supporter of FC Barcelona.
He has spoken out in opposition to Catalonia's independence in recent years, a move which has surely earned him some enemies in the region, as well as many supporters in the rest of Spain, on both a personal and business level. He is a person with very clear ideas which he conveys through the company he runs.