In 2010, the Portuguese processed tomato specialist Sugal acquired the tomato processing plant of Las Cabezas de San Juan, in Seville, and ever since, the Group's processing capacity has grown six-fold. To achieve this, 30 million Euro have been invested in the modernization of the tomato production sector and in the processing plant's facilities, according to Diogo Soares, CEO of Tomates del Sur, name given to the Spanish subsidiary of the Portuguese giant Sugal.
The province of Seville has been a great bet for the Sugal Group. Increases in crop production have been a result of the search for quality, for the best agricultural techniques and for the best varieties. That is what will make the difference and what will allow us to continue growing in a global and very competitive market. To achieve this, Sugal is testing more than 150 varieties each year in several test fields. The main objective is to produce tomatoes with a good yield, excellent quality and good adaptability to local climatic conditions.
Sugal currently offers a wide range of tomato products, including paste, cubes or crushed tomato, with various concentration levels (from 5 to 40 Brix degrees) and different production processes.
In the Seville-based factory, all the products are packaged and shipped to industrial customers, who use concentrates and tomato sauce for pizzas as an ingredient in their products. More than 85% of the production is exported to more than 70 countries worldwide, with Europe being the Portuguese group's main market.
To obtain the tomatoes, a total of 2,350 hectares have been contracted from Seville to Jerez de la Frontera, in Cadiz.
According to Diogo Soares, the creation of a European Designation of Origin could help Andalusia's industrial tomato production gain more strength globally.
"Sugal's objective is to ensure Andalusia becomes the region of the world with the highest productivity in industrial tomato. This, together with the excellence of the group's tomatoes, will be the key to the future and will allow us to think about new projects that can generate employment and wealth," said Soares.