The year 2000 didn’t just mean a change of decade and millennium, for us it was the beginning of a major essential business project that has given a strong impetus to what Grupo Empresarial La Caña is today, the founding of our company Eurocastell SAT.
The moment our agriculture was going through at that time was key. Miguel García Sánchez, our parent company, had established itself as a major fruit and vegetable production centre on the Granada coast. Customers demanding new commitments to food safety, asked for changes that would affect the marketing model, to make it more dynamic and flexible, moving in the direction of increased planning when organising work.
It was clear to us, while also being the time to make a strong commitment to positioning ourselves in a strategic area of our region, with increasing production that would allow us to be closer to our farmers, offer them personalised service and propose working together, from planning with their crops to the customers’ final requirements. We did it with an in-house identity, a new brand, Eurocastell, which offered security, differentiation and trust to our customers.
In addition, this commitment was also backed by the need to incorporate new machinery into our production process, more efficient lines of action in order to be able to guarantee supply continuity throughout the year, product processing demands, established deadlines for providing service, and the safety required by our customers.
Eurocastell opened its doors with 4,400 m2 of surface area, where 4,000 m2 comprised the plant’s capacity and 400 m2 was for supporting the mezzanine, used mainly for storing packaging and a small office. The refrigeration chambers were 475 m2.
On 26 October 2000, a small group of courageous people who combined experience with youth took the lead at Eurocastell. Among them, 3 of the line managers are still with us, Isabel López, Fernando Leyva and Maribel López (interviewed on the previous pages). Other colleagues like Francis Toledo, Gloria Jodar, Lorena Cara, Silvia González, Miguel Merlo, and Nuria Abarca, remember challenging beginnings but a lot of excitement about the new company project at the same time.
Eurocastell’s business activity beginnings coincided with changing times for our agriculture. Fluid communication had to be maintained with our farmers to do away with the traditional auction-based system. This is how Eurocastell headed a change in the produce marketing model, a major step that was essential for planning production with farmers and offering them more guarantees thanks to the market orientation they planned their crops with.
Although Miguel García Sánchez already had its collection point in the nearby town of Carchuna, Eurocastell was undoubtedly the driving force behind Grupo La Caña’s expansion in creating our current collection point network and establishing our presence in Almería. In 2007 we opened the first collection point under Eurocastell, our current point in Albuñol. A 1200 m2 warehouse that brought us closer to our farmers in the area. Subsequently, we opened another important collection point under on Eurocastell, our Castillos de Baños warehouse which, in addition to serving the farmer as a point in their vicinity, supports the group with facilities fitted out to provide training for workers and farmers.
In 2013 we started working with a group of farmers from Almería in the El Ejido area, with others following from the Roquetas de Mar and La Mojonera areas, until we had covered an area of eastern Almeria reaching Retamar and Níjar.
The data reflects Eurocastell’s growth over these 20 years of work. We closed the first year of work with 10,000 kg of production, compare this to the 34 million kg produced in the last 2018-2019 crop year.
The foundation and development of Eurocastell supplemented Miguel García Sánchez’s production plant even more. Today, with 16,000 m2 of total area, Eurocastell is our largest and most cutting edge production plant, a business commitment that has guaranteed growth in our crop areas, being closer to our farmers and increasing our customers’ trust in us, with a staff of 920 workers. We hope to continue growing and undertaking new projects together with all of them.