CASI completed the purchase of Agrupalmeria's facilities in El Alquián. José María Andújar, on behalf of CASI, and Francisco García Quero, Agrupalmeria's legal representative, signed the documents. The transaction had previously received the blessing of CASI's associates and has cost a total of 14.5 million Euro.
From this point onwards, CASI's staff will refurbish the facilities. They are in good condition, so that, as stated by the president, José María Andújar, "we hope to have them up and running by mid-September."
CASI's new facilities include a 16.945 m² ground floor, a 18,654 m² semi-basement, 1,600 m² of offices, 267 m² devoted to a sales room, a 566 m² loft and 7,000 m² of adjoining lands. José María Andújar appeared truly satisfied: "we invite all growers who collaborated with Agrupalmeria to become members of CASI. We will continue working, as always, for the welfare of our associates."
The president of CASI said that "we invite them to enjoy of the best conditions in the sector in terms of price liquidations and produce costs." It is estimated that around 300 growers worked for Agrupalmeria.
The new facilities and the foreseeable increase in tomato volumes "will allow CASI to seek new markets," affirms José María Andújar. The cooperative will maintain its strategy to continue growing to stay as leaders in the production and commercialisation of tomatoes in Europe.
José María Andújar explains that the new facilities and increased volumes will allow CASI to grow in four fundamental aspects:
- It will help in the commercialisation process, when negotiating prices with large distributors.
- CASI will have a louder voice in Brussels "when discussing issues that could affect our growers."
- It will boost commercial plans “to enter new markets”.
- Better capacity to attend to consumers' new needs, such as the demand for smaller packaging, as "we will have more room in our facilities."
CASI is a cooperative created in the year 1944, which brings producers and traders together in the area of La Cañada and Eastern Almeria. It has 1,500 associates and another 400 cooperating partners (figures which are expected to increase now). Its main strength is the expertise of its members, true tomato specialists, who have learned the craft generation after generation. The 2012/2013 campaign is expected to finish with a total of 200 million Euro in revenue and the commercialisation of 230 million kilos of tomatoes.