Javier Meléndez reúne a más de 150 agricultores en la nueva fábrica de Patatas Meléndez

Javier Meléndez gathers more than 150 farmers at his new factory and applauds their work within the food chain.

“You can never do without farmers: I appreciate and admire your work, and I believe that we should always value your work”, Javier Meléndez stated at the inauguration of a conference that took place yesterday, 18 January, at its new production plant, located in Medina del Campo. The CEO of Patatas Meléndez brought together more than 150 farmers from different countries in a meeting that began with a round table discussion where all the links in the food chain were represented; it continued with a guided tour of the automated factory facilities; and ended with a cocktail in the Castillo de la Mota.

The round table discussion was moderated by Máximo Gómez, Director of Agro Castilla y León, and included prominent speakers such as Javier Meléndez; María José González, Industry Director of the Agri-Food Chain of Castilla y León; Marco Román, President of Asociafruit; Pedro Ruiz, President of Vitartis; Felipe Medina, Technical Secretary General of Asedas; and Juan Manuel Coello, Operations Director of Patatas Meléndez and Expert of the National Commission for the Evaluation of Potato Varieties of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Javier Meléndez wanted to emphasise that the new factory is a firm commitment to the origin, to the rural world, to continue creating wealth in the region and to the professionalisation of the countryside. The businessman maintained that the potato sector is prosperous and has a future, given that this raw material has all the potential to be the protagonist of numerous dishes, and stressed that more production is needed to satisfy the needs of increasingly demanding consumers, and to focus fully on maximising sustainability.

In addition, Juan Manuel Coello, Operations Director of Patatas Meléndez, gave a preview of the company’s internationalisation plans and emphasised that it is essential for the company that farmers obtain a return on their production and that thanks to its double harvest system, consumers can enjoy new Spanish potatoes all year round.

For her part, María José González, Director of Industry of the Agri-Food Chain of Castilla y León, stressed the need to strengthen the position of farmers in the food chain, where there are still asymmetries in negotiation; and Pedro Ruiz, President of Vitartis, explained the importance of ensuring that profit margins are passed on to all links in the chain and that the contribution of value remains in Castilla y León.

As for Felipe Medina, Technical Secretary General of Asedas, he pointed out the obligation to make the sector grow and for the consumer to perceive the value of the product; and Marco Román, President of Asociafruit, focused on the urgency of reaching younger consumers who, on many occasions, consume other types of products.

After the round table discussion, the farmers in attendance had the opportunity to visit first- hand all the innovations in the new potato factory. It is worth remembering that Patatas Meléndez has invested more than 36 million euros in this plant which guarantees the continuity of the crop and generational replacement. It is a firm commitment to boosting the region’s economy and optimising sustainability through systems focused on reducing water and energy consumption.

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