Patatas Meléndez inaugurates its new 4.0 production factory

Patatas Meléndez, a company from Valladolid with a turnover of 110 million euros in 2022, has just made history in the fresh potato sector. This morning, the company inaugurated its new automated factory, in which it has invested more than 36 million euros and whose advances are focused on maximising potato quality, company efficiency and sustainability. The ceremony was presided over by Mr. Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, President of the Junta de Castilla y León, and took place at the production plant. In addition, the company has invited Marc Vidal, an expert speaker on digital transformation, as a special collaborator of the event.

This institutional opening ceremony was attended, among many other personalities, by the aforementioned President of the Junta de Castilla y León; representatives of the Hungarian Embassy in Spain; Ms. Virginia Barcones, Government Delegate; Mr. Jesús Julio Carnero, Minister of the Presidency of the Junta de Castilla y León; Mr. Gerardo Dueñas Merino, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development;

D. Guzmán Gómez Alonso, Mayor of Medina del Campo; and Mr. Conrado Íscar Ordóñez, President of the Provincial Council of Valladolid.

“Today, for me, is a special day: the inauguration of this factory with the technology of the Industry 4.0 marks a before and after in the history of Patatas Meléndez. I decided to carry out this project because I have full confidence in the potato sector, which is prosperous, and in all the potential that Castilla y León and, specifically, Medina del Campo, the enclave where the company was born and which I want to continue to support. This factory is synonymous with the future, with technology and innovation, but also with origin, continuity of cultivation and generational change”, said Javier Meléndez, CEO of Patatas Meléndez, at the inauguration.

Javier Meléndez en la inauguración de la nueva fábrica de producción 4.0

On the other hand, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, President of the Junta de Castilla y León, alluded to all the benefits for the autonomous community that this Patatas Meléndez production plant is going to position itself as a benchmark in Europe. According to the President: “Patatas Meléndez is a company that stands out for its turnover and its expansion to other countries such as France and Portugal, but, above all, for working in a different way with farmers and for having implemented an Agricultural Plan, which gives them stability. It is a source of pride for this land to be home to the most modern factory in Europe, which is undoubtedly a commitment to innovation and to our region. This is a strategic sector, and thanks to factories like this one, the agri-food industry in Castilla y León is one of the most important in the world.

In the words of Virginia Barcones, Government Delegate: “In addition to its relevance in the economic fabric of Castilla y León, we must value the contribution of this factory in the demographic challenge and in the fight against depopulation. Our agriculture is a living, deep-rooted sector. Thank you, Javier Meléndez, for continuing to support Castilla y León and for helping to lay the foundations for the future of our land. The greatest challenge for the agri-food sector is to achieve social, environmental and economic sustainability, and companies like Patatas Meléndez show us that all these elements can be integrated”.

Guzmán Gómez Alonso, Mayor of Medina del Campo, also dedicated a few words to all the guests: “Today is a great day for several reasons. Firstly because you, Javier, have shown that when you want to, you can, despite the difficulties. Secondly, because in an era marked by globalisation and relocation, entrepreneurs like you, who were born in Castilla y León, have decided to bet on your land, and this factory contributes to laying a solid foundation for the future of this town and its region. Thirdly, because the agri-food industry is synonymous with possibilities for our citizens and our land”.

It should be noted that the facilities of this new factory, designed to provide a rapid response to the needs of our customers, are designed to treat the potato as if it were a fruit and to protect it at all times from mechanical damage.
Among the factory’s most significant innovations are the introduction of optical sorters, which sort potatoes by size, shape and quality in a single process; anthropomorphic robots, thanks to which the production capacity for packaging is increased; the implementation of an intelligent warehouse with a capacity of around 1000 boxes of 800 kilograms each, which represents an increase of over

700% compared to current storage, as well as greater energy efficiency and optimisation of the water cycle.

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