Carmen Benítez and Ricardo Migueláñez
Months ago we reported that Deoleo was courting Hojiblanca, and now we can confirm that they have officially joined forces. At the same time, the second-tier cooperative also merged with Tierras Altas to create Dcoop, the goal being to create the leading cooperative in Spain.
Dcoop is a major multisector conglomerate of agri-food cooperatives comprising 65,00 farmers and stockbreeders in southern Spain. It is the largest provider of virgin olive oil and table olives, with 400,000 hectares of olive groves and 50 million olive trees, and is also involved in segments such as cattle, cereals, supplies and services. Its products are sold under the following brands: Acorsa, Alisa, Carmen, Carpe Diem, Cordoliva, Hacienda Real, Monteespejo, Musa Unioliva and Tierras Altas.
Antonio Luque, its general manager, commented at a presentation in Madrid that the goal is to become a national leader, suggesting that it aspires to be one of the few priority cooperatives (in view of the new "Law to promote cooperative integration" and depending on the definition of that term); however, there's also another big cooperative in Spain, COVAP, which sells products not available from Dcoop, such as milk, and which has been excluded from this project at present.
To strengthen the meat component, in early November Dcoop commenced talks with Famadesa, Andalusia's largest meat group, with consolidated revenues of 300 million euros, with a view to creating a jointly-owned company (50:50) for pork production and meat product processing and sales. The details are still being hammered out.
In view of the diverse products in Andalusia among cooperatives, such as olives, fruits and vegetables, wines, etc., Dcoop may be considering additional mergers in the region and elsewhere in Spain to enhance competitiveness and obtain a more comprehensive portfolio.
Dcoop's objectives are to obtain the greatest returns for its farmers and stockbreeders through optimal marketing and cost reduction. It also seeks to become a major agri-food cooperative that is sound, viable, ambitious, sustainable, and capable of offering quality proprietary products to consumers and addressing current market challenges faced by our farmers and stockbreeders.
Below we offer an overview of Dcoop products.
SECTORS COVERED BY DCOOP
These companies are involved in the joint sale of virgin olive oils produced by member entities. Olive farmers deliver the fruit to various olive oil mills and the group undertakes to sell it, in bulk or retail. This area currently comprises 110 members and the joint production of 65,000 olive farming families with more than 50 million trees over 400,000 hectares of olive groves.
Dcoop's average production is 250,000 tons, which is sold in 60 countries under the Dcoop, Cordoliva, Tierras Altas, Acorsa and Unioliva brands.
Dcoop is the world's largest table olive producer, with production of over 67,000 tons. The bulk is packaged and a large volume is exported via subsidiary Hojiblanca USA Inc. The table olive harvest begins at the end of September and lasts through October. Olive farmers deliver their fruit to the associate cooperatives for two types of processing: using acidulated water for black olives or the Seville-style method.
Of the 67,000 tons produced, the majority are Hojiblanca, while the remainder are mainly Manzanilla and Gordal. The primary brand is Acorsa.
Dcoop's stockbreeding area extends throughout all of Andalusia, and is a leader in the sale of fodder, various types of livestock (originally white pigs) and zoosanitary products.
All member companies, many of which are the largest agri-food firms in Andalusia, contribute their expertise and experience in animal feed and livestock production and sales.
Revenues amount to 30 million euro, with 200,000 pig heads sold annually and 200,00 tons of raw materials acquired for fodder.
This activity joined the Group more recently, created in 2013. The objective is to jointly sell all types of grains: cereals, protein products and oleaginous and leguminous plants. This area has production potential of around 100,000 tons per year.
This area has the following objectives, based mainly on reducing costs for farmers and stockbreeders: to reduce production costs, guarantee products' superior quality, provide services to all members, meet the needs of our farmers and stockbreeders, and enhance loyalty. Revenues for this area increased four-fold in the last seven years. Accordingly, the General Meeting highlighted several issues to strengthen future initiatives.