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258. Anecoop not only rides out crisis, it is focused on growth

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Coop Name: Anecoop N° of Employees: 199
City: Valencia N° of Members: 79
Country: Spain Year of formation: 1975
Website: http://www.anecoop.com/en/anecoop-spain
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About this coop:

In 1975, a group of Spanish citrus fruit cooperatives joined forces in order to expand their product range, reach new markets and improve their bargaining power with large-scale distributors. They set up Anecoop, a second-tier cooperative or “cooperative of cooperatives”. Today Anecoop is the Mediterranean's leading fruit and vegetable producer; the Spanish leader in marketing fruit, vegetables and salad stuffs; the world’s leading citrus fruit exporter and second largest marketer; Europe’s top watermelon and kaki supplier. The key to our success is our people; exemplified by the thousands of farmers working for Anecoop’s 79 member cooperatives and all the other staff that work for the Anecoop Group.

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“We need to meet demand,” says Carlota Pardo, spokesperson for Anecoop, one of the Mediterranean’s largest fruit and vegetable suppliers. “But one of the challenges is that we’re so dispersed in the fruit and vegetable cooperative sector that we as a group don’t have the power we could have.”

“Demand is contained in the hands of very few companies around the world but in Spain we are hundreds of suppliers,” says Pardo.

However, Anecoop is a reference point for other fruit and vegetable businesses around the world demonstrating the benefits of consolidation which have helped to put Anecoop on a level footing with its major competitors. It has 79 members which represent 90,000 growers and it is also involved in convincing these members to consider consolidation in order to grow and reap the benefits of cheaper operating costs and greater bargaining power.

Anecoop represents progress at a time when other businesses are smarting from the troubled local economy and contracting in an effort to survive.

In comparison to much of the Spanish business sector the Anecoop group has produced solid financial results in the past year and has maintained its workforce.

As Pardo explains, the cooperative business model has proved its worth in difficult times. “We are a business model which can go through any crisis,” she says.

At the same time Anecoop is also focused on the communities in which it works, particularly the lives and health of children. Two years ago it began the “Growing the Future” campaign designed to encourage children to eat larger quantities of fruit and vegetables. It includes an online game campaign called “The Bouquet Method” which it encourages participants to follow for 28 days. And by getting families to eat together it is also tackling the underlying reason for children generally eating less well: one of them being the erosion of family values.

Anecoop is now launching the same campaign in France.

Author of this story
Kate Askew
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