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The coffee trees of Northern Spain.

The coffee trees of Northern Spain

Managing SEDA keeps the Cruz brothers busier than some people might to be, but it is a price for success they seem willing enough to pay. And their family-owned company is a success. It has been expanding for several years in a row at an annual rate of 20-25%, in part explaining why the company has received honors in spain for its business profile. earlier this year, the rate of expansion at SEDA approached 50% over last year's result, a pace of evolution to keep any executive running.

Since its founding 32 years ago in Palencia, 200km. north of Madrid, SEDA has grown into a variety of occupations. The company has long been noted for its regular and decaffeinated soluble coffee, which it a row at an annual rate of 20-25%, in part explaining why the company has received honors in spain for its business profile. earlier this year, the rate of expansion at SEDA approached 50% over last year's result, a pace of evolution to keep any executive running.

Since its founding 32 years ago in Palencia, 200km. north of Madrid, SEDA has grown into a variety of occupations. The company has long been noted for its regular and decaffeinated soluble coffee, which it a row at an annual rate of 20-25%, in part explaining why the company has received honors in spain for its business profile. earlier this year, the rate of expansion at SEDA approached 50% over last year's result, a pace of evolution to keep any executive running.

Since its founding 32 years ago in Palencia, 200km. north of Madrid, SEDA has grown into a variety of occupations. The company has long been noted for its regular and decaffeinated soluble coffee, which it a row at an annual rate of 20-25%, in part explaining why the company has received honors in spain for its business profile. earlier this year, the rate of expansion at SEDA approached 50% over last year's result, a pace of evolution to keep any executive running.

Since its founding 32 years ago in Palencia, 200km. north of Madrid, SEDA has grown into a variety of occupations. The company has long been noted for its regular and decaffeinated soluble coffee, which it a row at an annual rate of 20-25%, in part explaining why the company has received honors in spain for its business profile. earlier this year, the rate of expansion at SEDA approached 50% over last year's result, a pace of evolution to keep any executive running.

Since its founding 32 years ago in Palencia, 200km. north of Madrid, SEDA has grown into a variety of occupations. The company has long been noted for its regular and decaffeinated soluble coffee, which it a row at an annual rate of 20-25%, in part explaining why the company has received honors in spain for its business profile. earlier this year, the rate of expansion at SEDA approached 50% over last year's result, a pace of evolution to keep any executive running.

Since its founding 32 years ago in Palencia, 200km. north of Madrid, SEDA has grown into a variety of occupations. The company has long been noted for its regular and decaffeinated soluble coffee, which it a row at an annual rate of 20-25%, in part explaining why the company has received honors in spain for its business profile. earlier this year, the rate of expansion at SEDA approached 50% over last year's result, a pace of evolution to keep any executive running.

Since its founding 32 years ago in Palencia, 200km. north of Madrid, SEDA has grown into a variety of occupations. The company has long been noted for its regular and decaffeinated soluble coffee, which it makes and packages for roasters and private label clients throughout Spain and abroad. As well, through a subsidiary company, Farmaprima, it is the leading Spanish source for decaffeinated green coffee which it ships over the seven seas. Another subsidiary firm, more recently formed, is IDEA. IDEA is a coffee research entity, and is for example working on such projects as using spent grounds for compost. SEDA also packages coffee substitute products. Its newest activity, on-line just this year, is freeze-dried coffee production.

The Company's success is particularly notable because its leading sectors--regular and decaffeinated soluble--are not dynamic markets in Spain. although soluble accounts for about 24% of the Spanish coffee market, it expanded by no more than 3% last year. The decaffeinated soluble share of this can only be termed "stable" and with 40% of sector sales, SEDA now packages soluble products for some 150 clients, most of whom are private label-Horeca (foodservice) production.

The Company's success is particularly notable because its leading sectors--regular and decaffeinated soluble--are not dynamic markets in Spain. although soluble accounts for about 24% of the Spanish coffee market, it expanded by no more than 3% last year. The decaffeinated soluble share of this can only be termed "stable" and with 40% of sector sales, SEDA now packages soluble products for some 150 clients, most of whom are private label-Horeca (foodservice) oriented. However, the company's packaging for about 30 retailers actually accounts for 80% of its soluble production.

As for recent technical developments, in addition to launching its freeze-dried production plant, the company shifted last year to the ethyl acetate decaffeination process. Further expansion in the agglomeration plant area will give SEDA a capacity of 5,000 tons next year in regular soluble coffee production. The company has a capacity of 7,000 tons in decaffeinated soluble. The continuing laboratory-areas investment program has now brought gas and liquid chromatography analysis to the caffeine control program. To accommodate growth, the company is also building a new packaging plant, a 10,000 sq. meter facility that as of next year will be home for the various packaging lines--much of the production is in jars of 50, 100, 200 g. sizes.

Actually, SEDA's Palencia production site is something of a monument to the ongoing challenge of coffee technology, fusing as it does the recognized feats of international coffee engineering along with touches of homegrown genius. It is a fascinating, bustling, obviously ever-changing complex of silos, roasting plant, soluble, decaf and freeze-dried plants, of warehouses, packing plants, offices, labs, greenhouses (for coffee trees, of course!).

The Cruz brothers, by the way, are Juan Antonio, Juan Manuel and Juan de Dios. They follow their father in management. Juan Antonio and Juan Manuel are located in Palencia, Juan de Dios at the SEDA offices in Madrid. The company's soluble production now holds 20% of the Spanish market, second only to Nestle Espana. SEDA's key export markets are the U.K. and Portugal for soluble products; the Netherlands, U.S.A. and Portugal for the Farmaprima division's green decaffeinated coffee. For those who simply must know, "SEDA" stands for Sociedad Espanola de Alimentos, S.A.--thanks be for acronyms.

Coffee in Spain

Attempting to give an accurate statistical image of coffee markets and trade in Spain is somewhat like trying to put the cat in the doll's dress. Nevertheless we can conjure up the following figures and offer that they are likely within range of some accuracy.

Spain imported 158,069 tons of green coffee in 1989, a record volume. Breakdown to origins is not now available, but it is understood that Robusta coffees gained an overall share of 49% versus 4i% in 1988. In recent years the leading origins on the green market have been Brazil (with slightly less than 20%), Ivory Coast, Colombia, Uganda, Paraguay, Cameroun, Indonesia, Nicaragua and Cuba.

Trends: In green coffee the nation remains a growth market, largely because of a boom in re-exportation to a variety of destinations in Europe, and to what seems to be a habitual stockpiling--stocks are believed to be at high levels. The green coffee markets is continuing to show strong interest in African and Asian coffees, in Robustas, and lessening interest in the traditional source--Brazil, Columbia and Central American. This shift, happening since 1985, is largely attributable to the effects of a retail price war in Spain, making an already price conscious industry even more so.

As for actual national consumption, despite increases in green coffee imports, it has remained static in the latter years of the 80's at around 125,000 tons, including soluble usage. The growth segments within the national market remain in-home, ground, and as of last year, soluble. The in-home share of total consumption has gained to about 60%, and ground coffee now represents more than 70% of volume. Soluble sales increased by 3% in 1989 and held 24% of the total market. Spain is said to have imported 1,824 tons of roasted coffee products last year, almost 60% of which came from Portugal. Imports of soluble coffee are placed at 1,920 tons for the past year. While exports of Spanish coffee remain negligible, soluble continues to expand as an export product, with 1,750 tons in 1989.
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Title Annotation:inside the family-owned Spanish coffee company Sociedad Espanola de Alimentos, S.A.
Author:Bell, Jonathan
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Oct 1, 1990
Words:1493
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