Its extensive range covers all kinds of lettuce, escarole, winter vegetables, spring onion, spinach, baby leaf, courgette, etc. etc., as well as a wide range of ready-to-eat salads. “A few years ago now, we at Kernel opted for certain specialities, particular market niches and, most specifically, for the organic market. Working with so many references is far from easy because you need to have a big business structure but that is our commercial choice”, says José Antonio Cánovas, the firm’s deputy sales manager.
The company acquired the 740 Ha “El Cortijo del Fraile” property located in the protected setting of the “Cabo de Gata” Natural Park in Almería, of which almost 300 hectares are devoted to organic production, which received Green Label status in 1996. This gave rise in 2008 to the Kernel Bio line, a reality that has done nothing but grow and has been joined by additional land in the Campo de Cartagena, Totana and Caudete.
This wide range of references also extends into conventional production, which accounts for a considerable part of the company’s overall turnover.
Melon production covers 130 hectares and represents approximately 12% of the company’s total volume. “Although the magnitudes are not very significant in absolute figures, this crop is very important because it’s the only one we can export during summer”, explains Cánovas.
On the other hand, the range of terrains available from Campo de Cartagena to the north of the province of Alicante means that the firm has a visible presence on markets from mid-June through to mid-September.
Of course, we also have an organic line of melons that, although growth reached double figures, is now expanding more linearly.
The varieties we sell most of correspond to the Galia, Cantaloupe and Charentais types as well as newer developments such as Honey Moon and Gwanipa, a melon with citric essences.
For this campaign, the surface area has been cut back a little and the weather did the dirty on them at the end of June and the first week of July by causing a major glut on market, with three weeks’ production becoming available in only two weeks, triggering a significant fall in prices.
During the summer, and to cover both the domestic market and the ready-to-eat segment, they also continue to grow crops of lettuce, spinach, baby leaf and escarole.
The company’s markets are widely distributed throughout Europe: Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Britain, Scandinavia, etc.
Linked with organic production, 2008 saw the birth of the Nature Box line, an on-line fruit and vegetable store with home delivery all across Spain, a project awarded Fruit Today Euromagazine’s 2012 prize for “Best e commerce business”.