Asppa Albacete’s Low-Cost Model Leading the Organic Pistachio Market in Europe

Asppa Albacete's Low-Cost Model Leading the Organic Pistachio Market in Europe


Keinia Group – The Association of Pistachio Producers in Albacete (Asppa) has set its sights on conquering the European organic pistachio market with its unique and cost-effective management model. This innovative approach not only offers farmers greater financial flexibility but also empowers them to choose their desired level of risk and profit. Asppa’s commitment to organic pistachio production positions them as a formidable player in the industry.

Driving Organic Pistachio Production

Established in 2020, Asppa currently boasts 114 members who collectively manage a vast area of 1,900 hectares, averaging around 15 hectares per member. While their presence is concentrated in 34 municipalities within the Albacete province, Asppa has ambitious plans to expand their reach across Castilla-La Mancha and beyond.

With an impressive processing volume of nearly 50 tons in the previous harvest season, Asppa has successfully sold all its pistachio products internationally, particularly in Italy and Germany. The association aims to push this figure even higher, targeting a dry yield of 1,000 tons by the 2027-28 season.

A Focused Approach to the European Organic Market

Asppa’s primary objective revolves around capturing the European organic market. Bolstered by the largest organic pistachio cultivation area worldwide, the association remains steadfast in their commitment to organic practices. Despite any suggestions to deviate from their organic pistachio model, Asppa’s president, Enrique López-Tello, made it clear during the Mundus Pistachio conference that their dedication remains unwavering.

A Network Model for Expansion

At the heart of Asppa’s operations lies their network model, which ensures efficiency and collaboration among its members. The association fully owns Isla Verde de Montalvos S.L., responsible for the initial peeling and drying stages of pistachios, catering to both Asppa members and third-party growers. While the first “Isla Verde” is located in Montalvos, Asppa aims to replicate this successful model in other regions.

To further streamline their operations, Asppa has established another company, Cultivadores de Pistachos Ecológicos de España S.L., which handles the subsequent processing stages such as sorting and opening closed shells. This second company, based in Barrax, also oversees the marketing of pistachios under the brand name Spain’s Pistachio Growers. Unlike in the first company, Asppa does not retain 100% ownership in this venture, allowing individual producers to decide their level of involvement.

This innovative model grants producers the freedom to focus solely on the processing of their pistachios, providing them with more affordable entry costs compared to traditional cooperative models. Producers can avoid sharing the expenses and profits associated with the second processing and marketing stages.

Embracing the Low-Cost Advantage

Asppa offers an attractive proposition to pistachio producers by reducing financial barriers and granting access to their extensive network and markets. Members of Asppa are required to pay an initial joining fee of 663 euros per hectare, followed by an annual fee based on the cultivated area. The maximum annual payment per member is capped at 260 euros.

For example, a dryland or irrigated producer with 15 hectares would only incur an entry cost of 9,945 euros to process their pistachios through Asppa. In contrast, according to the association’s data, cooperative models for the same area would result in costs exceeding five times that amount for dryland cultivation (54,000 euros) and over twelve times for irrigated cultivation (126,000 euros). However, it’s important to note that cooperative models do offer the benefits of marketing.

Paving the Way for Europe’s Organic Pistachio Sector

Asppa’s low-cost model provides a compelling opportunity for pistachio producers, enabling them to enter the industry with reduced financial burdens while capitalizing on the association’s vast network and market access. By spearheading this innovative approach, Asppa Albacete is poised to become the leading force in Europe’s organic pistachio sector.

The information provided in this text was quoted from PistachioPro.

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