Vefruber, based in Berja, Spain, has made a qualitative and quantitative leap forward. The company, which markets high-quality fruit and vegetables, markets its products under the brands Lucrecia (for standard products) and Peralta (for premium products). The firm, run by Juan Enciso Callejón, has acquired a 366 hectare nursery in the municipality of Arroyo de la Luz, in the province of Cácares, with the aim of making a reality of a project that combines organic agriculture and tourism. To this end, the company has invested 58 million Euro.
"We chose this region for this initiative because of the abundance of water and because of the suitable temperatures for growing crops in the open ground," explains Vebruver manager Juan Enciso Callejón.
The project was presented last Friday at Arroyo de la Luz, at an event attended by Guillermo Fernández Vara, president of the regional government of Extremadura. Vara highlighted the project's sustainable characteristics. The focus is on sustainable agro-tourism and the creation of a green and circular economy, with energy development based on clean and renewable sources.
Vefruber plans to irrigate between 100 and 150 hectares in the town, resorting to two small dams that it owns, and which have been authorized by the Tajo Hydrographic Confederation.
On the plot, which bears the name 'Los lavaderos', the organic production is expected to reach some 20,000 tons. The portfolio includes peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and melons.
Callejón points out that the initiative is in the first stage of development. In this phase, the project will provide employment for about 40 people, who will cultivate six hectares under plastic and 34 hectares in the open ground this summer. The second phase will involve the construction of a warehouse (for the processing and preparation of vegetables and fruit), a hotel and a restaurant. This will create about 300 jobs.
The director explains that the cultivation must be converted to organic. For this, according to current regulations, a transition phase of two years must first be completed.
Currently, Vefruber cultivates around 250 hectares and it sells around 20,000 tons of fruit and vegetables every year. This project therefore entails a doubling of the company's turnover and production.