Campofrío and El Pozo lead a 5,000 million project to transform the meat sector with European funds

Campofrío and El Pozo lead a 5,000 million project to transform the meat sector with European funds

A total of 1,689 companies and farmers have joined in this initiative that aims to digitize the industry and put an end to depopulation.

Meat industry in archive image.

The Spanish agri-food sector, and more specifically the meat-livestock value chain, wants to lead the recovery and become a world leader. For it, a total of 1,689 companies and farmers Led by companies like Campofrío or The Well have come together to present a project to access Next Generation funds by proposing investments in the fields of sustainability, digitization and the circular economy.

The project, to which EL ESPAÑOL-Invertia has had access, includes private investments amounting to 5,074 million euros. Of which, a part of them aspire to be financed with these funds, Fernando Moraleda, coordinator of the initiative and senior consultant of Llorente and Cuenca, explains to this newspaper. These investments are proposed to be executed in several annuities, leaving 34% for 2022 and 50% for 2023. Although it is not ruled out that they will be extended to 2024 as well.

It is a backbone plan that practically includes the entire value chain. 73.6% of the participating companies are SMEs and the remaining 446 are large companies. The group is led by 21 tractor companies that have mobilized 180 meat companies, 165 that have meat and livestock activities, and 1,344 that are exclusively livestock companies or individual livestock farmers.

These 21 companies are leaders in their respective sectors. We are talking about Campofrío, Vall Companys, Fuertes Group (El Pozo), Jorge GroupUvesa, Coren, Covap, Grupo Empresarial Costa, Costa Brava Mediterranean Food, Incarlopsa, Olot Meats Grup, Missa/Faccsa, Celevant, Fribin, Famadesa, Osborne/Sánchez Romero, Montesano Extremadura, Grupo Medina, Encinar de Humienta, Moralejo and Grupo Hermi.

Incarlopsa

Incarlopsa

They are also present in all the Autonomous Communities, Andalusia and Catalonia being the ones with the greatest representation. Specifically, in Catalonia there are 95 participating companies and 87 are Andalusian.

This project is also made up of four technology partners in the fields of digitalisation, the circular economy and renewable energies. These are TelephoneAcciona, Fertinagro and Hispasat.

Perhaps the presence of the latter is rare, but it must be taken into account that not all municipalities have 100% coverage and fiber. “So the satellite connection is precise,” they comment from the organization. With these four companies “agreements have already been signed” and they are currently “in negotiations with others,” they point out.

The figures of the project reflect the importance of a project that to date is the largest of all those presented in the agri-food field and one of the best placed to receive said European funds.

Objectives

The main objective of this project is “make the meat sector a world leader”, details the coordinator to this medium. For this reason, it is intended that it “lead green, digital growth, without gender gaps, cohesive and inclusive, in all the territories of the State, and with special attention to rural areas”, it follows from the dossier of the project to which EL has had access SPANISH-Invertia.

Livestock exploitation of Guadalajara.  Europa Press archive image

Livestock exploitation of Guadalajara. Europa Press archive image

If the numbers of the project are large, the impact they expect is not minor. For example, a job creation of 16,611 jobs is expected. Of these, 4,724 will be developed in the field of livestock facilities and 11,887 in the meat industries. In addition, around 50% of these new jobs will correspond to female labor.

Most of the jobs will be created in municipalities with a high risk of depopulation. This is another of the objectives of the project: end population loss in rural Spain.

Here it is striking that the distribution of the more than 5,000 million investment by municipalities is concentrated in 21% in regions with less than 1,000 inhabitants, in 23% between 1,000 and 5,000, in 30% between 5,000 and 30,000 and a 26% in the larger ones, which are considered to be in urban areas.

Also expected a 6% increase in productivity and 30% reduction in carbon footprint. In addition, 18% of the water footprint, 38% of energy consumption in livestock facilities and 22% in meat industries. Finally, 15% less consumption of animal feed, among the sustainable objectives.

Flock of sheep in a stock image.

Flock of sheep in a stock image.

All this in a sector that claims prominence in the Spanish industry. According to data provided, invoice 27,959 million euros, basing its activity on livestock production, which represents a value of 15,415 million euros.

A year of preparation

To arrive at these figures, we must look back a year, just when an agreement was approved in Europe to launch European funds. That is when the idea of ​​this project arises, initially promoted by the white pig meat interprofessionals (Interporc)Iberian (asici)sheep/goat (Interović)beef (Proven beef)rabbit (Intercun) and the poultry (Avance).

The project is adapted to the European objectives of sustainability, digitization and gender gap. “With these objectives in mind, we began to confirm the project partners,” explains Fernando Moraleda, who adds that in a second phase they already adapted to the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan approved by the Spanish Government in April.

Meat industry in a file image.

Meat industry in a file image.
Europe Press.

“As a result of this expression of interest that we made in the Ministry of Industry, the Government realizes that an agri-food PERTE is necessary”, recognize. So once the PERTE is finalized, this project begins to grow and take shape with the help of Javier Lainez, technical and advisory director through the Gómez Acebo y Pombo law firm.

In July, it appears before Industry and Agriculture, whose response is very positive. “It is the best private project that has been presented”. That is the verdict that both ministries give on the project, according to Moraleda.

PERTE ‘agro’

And we come to autumn. Time in which the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism continue to work on the development of the Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation (PERTE) of the agri-food chain.

The forecast is to be able to raise the memory of this PERTE to the Council of Ministers before the end of this year, in order to begin the administrative procedures for the selection of projects (tenders, contests…) in the first quarter of 2022according to sources from the ministry to EL ESPAÑOL-Invertia.

louis planes

louis planes
EP

“PERTE’s objective is threefold: to increase competitiveness through digitization and artificial intelligence actions; promote sustainability through energy savings, water treatment or the implementation of recycling practices; and guarantee the traceability and food safety of each project participating in PERTE”, they point out.

The agri-food sector is one of the sectors that has made the most expressions of interest. In addition to this project, others such as ‘From the Farm to the Table: Challenges and Opportunities in the Agricultural Sector’ stand out. With an initial investment budget of more than 100 million euros, the project is made up of Campofrío, Santiveri, O. Palomo, Molendum, Agropal, Tejedor Lázaro Group, AN Group, Kerbest and Uvesa. Although they do not rule out including new companies.

Likewise, others stand out, such as the one led by Bayer or the ‘Ebro Food Valley’ projecta plan in which more than 60 companies at a national level have been involved and which foresees a private investment of between 700 and 1,000 million euros.

Ellsworth Weber