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Frozen food at Alimentaria 90, Spain's showcase for exports.

Frozen Food at Alimentaria 90, Spain's Showcase for Exports

Much of industry still needs to upgrade to EEC standards, but several Spanish companies are ready, willing and able to do export business.

Alimentaria 90 is Spain's showpiece, the latest in a series of bienniel food and drink exhibitions that has drawn an increasing number of both exhibitors and visitors.

Frozen food exports are gathering momentum in Spain, while imports continue to be bouyant. Indeed, a growing number of European frozen food companies are opening offices and plants in Iberia to consolidate exports and market share there. Benelux companies, which always have a keen eye for business, are particularly active.

Distribution can be a problem in Spain, mainly because roads need to be improved and both retail and catering outlets are far more fragmented than in most other EEC countries. Opening a local office can help overcome these problems. Moreover, the Spanish are very proud to be members of the European Community, and EEC flags fly prominently everywhere.

Several Spanish companies at this year's Alimentaria displayed new products which, unfortunately, are not yet ready for export. Some firms still need to improve their plants to comply with EEC standards, and until this is done, exports of frozen meat, poultry, value-added products and ready meals will continue to be severely curtailed.

Those Who Serve

That having been said, there are still several Spanish companies that are currently ahead of the field and very active in exports. One such company is Alimentos Congelados S.A.

This company has four modern plants producing a broad range of vegetables from the fertile lands watered by the Ebro River and its tributaries. Like all successful processors, they oversee the harvest from seed selection right through to fruitition, keeping a careful eye on results. Vegetables are harvested by modern machinery, and within two hours of collection are processed and then stored in hygienic conditions at their local up-to-date cold stores. A full range of vegetables and mixes is available, including cauliflower, peas, beans, carrots, sprouts, broccoli, etc.

Another company is Ruizpolo S.A., which offers a wide selection of frozen foods. For example, they are strong in the fish and seafood market with whitefish, shellfish and a selection of value-added lines including various recipes for croquettes. A comprehensive range of vegetables and vegetable mixes is also available. The company works from a modern plant at the Algeciras factory, and products are available for both the catering and retail trades.

Specializing in meat products is Gelika (Sialco S.r.l.). Its range covers conventional red and white meats such as pork chops and veal, on through such value-added products as burgers, poultry lines and cutlets. Modern processing and packaging plants allow the company to offer export services to both the retail and catering markets.

Compesca, S.A. is a fully privately owned company founded in 1965 by Jaime Yllera. Being a shipowner, Mr. Yllera asked the captains of his various ships to get information of local fish prices in every port of call around the world, which enabled the company to build itself into one of the largest sea product importers.

At first, selling frozen fish on the Spanish market was hard work and slow because most fish was sold fresh. In 1970 Mr. Yllera was joined by his son Jaime Yllera Jr. and by Luis Ortueta, his son-in-law. Since then, Compesca has played a big part in the development of the frozen fish industry in Spain. The headquarters of the company is in the port of Santander, in the north of Spain, as are the processing plant and the cold stores. Another cold store of 20,000 cubic metres is located on Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. The catering and supermarket sectors are the main objectives of Compesca, specializing in all types of frozen fish and shellfish from all over the world.

Pescanova has been making frozen products for more than 25 years, and is now in a position to offer for export a variety of whitefish, shellfish and other seafood delicacies such as octopus and squid. From the land, Pescanova also processes many vegetables and vegetable mixes, and potatoes as well. To demonstrate their versatility, they also offer a wide variety of value-added products, including many kinds of croquettes from hake, shrimp, chicken ham, etc.

Frigorifico Solia S.A. are again heavily involved in fish and seafood products. These come either straight from the sea, or value added in the form of croquettes. The company has also diversified into ham and chicken lines, mainly in shaped breaded croquettes. Modern plant and laboratory facilities position the company for export to both the retail and catering markets.

PHOTO : California blend vegetables from Alimentos Congelados.

PHOTO : Two hake specialties from Ruizpolo.

PHOTO : Chicken croquettes are exported by Frigorificos Solia.

PHOTO : Gelika offers wide range of value added meat products.
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Title Annotation:Spain food and beverage industry exhibition
Author:Brown, Morrison
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Apr 1, 1990
Previous Article:Spanish frozen food growth tops in EEC, but cold store occupancy falls to 70-75%.
Next Article:Overseas Japanese supermarket venture offers window on Oriental retailing.

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