Question.- The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has recognized Embutidos España as having the best Serrano ham in all of Castile-La Mancha and as being among the best in Spain. Does it get any better than this?
Answer.- It's an honor to receive this distinction and it motivates us to continue to focus on offering the best product for our customers. At Embutidos España, we are very aware that these kinds of achievements are only possible thanks to the hard work of every single person at the company, and we aim to keep improving.
This award recognizes our track record of more than 30 years producing hams and charcuterie and our commitment to continuous improvement.
At this time, we are focused on offering the best products and on continuing to innovate in our portfolio of products and in the formats we offer our customers.
Q.- How would you describe 2018 overall for Embutidos España?
A.- Last year was a great year for our company. In addition to the awards we received, we also obtained almost 36 million euros in revenues, which is 1% more than last year. We're very pleased with these results, since we're looking to grow sustainably year to year, which gives us stability and optimism vis-à-vis the future.
Moreover, growing demand will lead to increased production, and in the coming months we have plans to expand our facilities.
Q.- Embutidos España is one of the leading meat companies of Castile-La Mancha and it's successfully competing with the national and international market. With 15% of sales coming from the UK, how is Brexit going to impact you?
A.- For us, and for the entire sector, exports are a very important part of our business as they account for 30% of total annual sales, and our main buyer is the European Union. Within the EU, the UK is a key market that accounts for 15%, so we're keeping a close eye on this issue.
Brexit is a problem that affects all of the companies in the sector. We expect to be affected by duties and other paperwork that we never had to worry about until now and which will lead to higher costs. This would oblige us to increase our prices and we would become less competitive in that market.
Q.- Last year you participated in industry fairs like Meat Attraction and Alimentaria. What's your goal this year?
A.- In 2019, the main event we're planning for is the international food fair ANUGA, which we're very optimistic about given the opportunities it could represent for exports.
Increasing the company's visibility at these types of events is always a priority for us. To that end, we participate in these kinds of fairs to present our products, both those that have been available for some time and those we launch each year, to new people.
Q.- Embutidos España is well-known for its ham, chorizo, loin... Which products are the most popular outside Spain?
A.- We sell a wide variety of cold cuts outside Spain, but ham is indubitably our best performing product, accounting for 80% of sales, and it's the most popular product outside Spain. There are various formats available to consumers, and 30% of what's sold abroad is sliced ham while 70% are pieces of ham, as consumers in other countries have difficulties when cutting ham.
Chorizo and salchichón are increasingly popular outside Spain, mainly because they are very similar to products in consumers' local markets.
Q- This year you beat two Guinness World Records, participating in several ham carving contests. What exciting achievements can we expect from the company this year?
A.- Yes, this was a very important year for us. We beat two Guinness Records for the largest hand-carved plate of ham in the world and the meeting of the largest group of professional ham carvers in the world.
Although those will be hard to beat, we already have some surprises planned for 2019 and we hope to be just as successful.
This year we will be launching a new range of products designed specifically for the HoReCa channel. It's a new project we've taken on very enthusiastically and we expect good results this year.
We've already prepared new products and formats that we will be presenting in the coming months. These products are the result of our ongoing efforts to listen to consumers and understand their needs, and respond to their demands.