Ricardo Migueláñez. Agricultural Engineer @rmiguelanez
Ricardo Migueláñez- It looks like consumption is picking up a bit in Spain. How does ElPozo view the situation in its segment of the market?
R.F.- It's true. We are seeing an increase in consumer confidence, especially in product ranges with greater added value, which were hit the hardest during the crisis, although it's a very slight upswing.
R.M.- And at international level, how is this market performing? What percentage of total revenues do exports account for?
R.F.- Operating in a global market has its advantages and drawbacks: when some countries are doing well, others slide into a recession, or you face political challenges, such as borders closing, or limitations when exporting certain products. Essentially, you can't really make generalizations. It depends on the specific area and moment in time. Spanish meat sector exports are performing well, but there is, without a doubt, a long road ahead.
As for our company, whose ElPozo brand is associated with values such as tradition, quality and innovation, we have expanded internationally by 28% in terms of volume between January and October 2015. One of our main goals is to grow our exports to account for 40% of the company's total sales within the next five years.
R.M.- Markets are continually opening up to our products, especially considering that Russia is now shuttered and barred, so to speak. How has ElPozo adapted to this new situation? Where is it focused on? What are its priority markets?
R.F.- We have branches in France, Portugal and China, and ElPozo has a presence in more than 80 countries. France, Portugal and Germany are the most important destinations for us, together with Latin America, mainly Brazil, where we are one of the most popular Spanish processed food brands at supermarkets. As for fresh product sales, our main markets are Eastern Europe and Asia.
Our international strategy is to continue to enter markets outside Spain and to strengthen our presence where we already have a foothold. Our growth projections are based on developing faster than the sector average, in both fresh and processed products.
R.M.- What kinds of internationalization initiatives have been implemented to date?
R.F.- Currently, our parent company, Grupo Fuertes, has started to internationalize, promoting the company Tambovskaia Indeika in Russia, which produces and sells turkey, together with local partner Grupo Cherkizovo, a leader in Russia's meat industry. This project cost over 125 million euros and is expected to become the country's leading turkey producer when construction is completed next year.
As a result, our group will reinforce its position as a leader in mass market products, thanks to the powerful group of agri-food companies that comprise it.
R.M.- What can a Spanish meat company offer international consumers that other large companies from countries that are industry leaders, like Denmark and Germany, cannot?
R.F.- We have a unique distinguishing characteristic: Integral Process Control, which is a singular circular integration model that guarantees the quality of our products. This system has enabled us to standardize our food products and fully meet the needs of our customers.
R.M.- Do the products you sell abroad differ greatly from those you offer in Spain?
R.F.- In other countries, we offer the range we sell in Spain as well as products adapted to consumer preferences in each country. We are also working to associate our food products with "Marca España", a distinguishing factor which, internationally, is increasingly prestigious given the quality of Spanish foods.
Along these lines, we are expanding our new range of TAPAS, typical Spanish products which adapt perfectly to what are known internationally as Spanish tapas. Serrano ham, chorizo, salchichón and fuet, which are available in various formats and make the perfect snack. We're also working to notably boost international sales of our fresh products, such as our Extratiernos line.