Olive oil production cooperatives Jaencoop and Olivar de Segura have agreed to merge after several years of negotiations, the Olive Oil Times reported on 11 February.
After Dcoop in Málaga, Spain, the new entity would be the second largest producer and distributor of olive oil in the world, bringing in an average annual turnover of more than €250M (US$286M).
“At the present time, it doesn’t make sense to go it alone. Now we are going to have more muscle in the international markets and greater guarantees of production,” said Cristóbal Gallego Martinez, president of Jaencoop.
Both cooperatives were based in Jaén province, Andalusia, the region of Spain that produced almost a third of the world’s olive oil.
The companies would be utilising each other’s strongest assets. Jaencoop owned 100,000ha of olive oil groves yielding 80,000 to 90,000 tonnes of olive oil but only packed a proportionately small quantity of up to 2.5M litres, Olive Oil Times wrote.
Olivar de Segura produced about 20,000 tonnes of olive oil from its 30,000ha of groves but its packaging infrastructure allowed the company to bottle up 4M litres of olive oil each season.
“We wanted a strong group in the province,” said Olivar de Segura president Ángel Rodriguez. “We have projects with great potential that require a greater volume of production to supply them and now we are going to be a group with a great dimension.”
Olive Oil Times wrote the new entity would include 28 associations with 26,000 farming partners, 130,000ha of olive groves and an expected production of 120,000 tonnes for the 2018/19 season. It would handle and distribute olive oil brands to more than 20 markets around the world and likely operate under the name of Jaencoop, but retaining the Olivar de Segura brand name.