By our fruits they shall know us, the saying goes. We are paid to do things. In our day-to-day activities we fill our lives with memories and experiences. And to this end we train ourselves, i.e., acquire knowledge of what needs to be done. And then we repeat it over and over. We improve our results. We boost our professionalism. We hone our skills in languages, negotiation, people management. How many hours do we invest in this? But each action is preceded by the decision to act. And decision making is complex. We analyse the causes for each action. We consider the future effects of our actions — if it’s right or wrong to act a certain way. But do we get training on how to make good decisions? Do we know what criteria we prioritise when making a decision? At Fitó, we dedicate time to learning how to do things well (professionalism) and even changing the way we do things to do them even better (innovation). Proof of this is that the Fitó training budget is always growing. The aim is to receive the training we need and in the short-term even train our colleagues. But we also want to invest time on how we make our decisions. Specifying values and articulating a purpose (mission), specifying why and for what purpose we do things, will help us make those decisions and improve as a company. First, it will boost our profitability. Second, we will be a more human company towards our clients and employees. And last but not least, we will be more engaged with society. In other words we will be a Profits, People and Planet company. A 3P business.
CORPORATE CORPORATE VOLUNTEERING: WE WORK AGAINST FOOD UNDERSELLING
Various working sessions were made to define the project
At Fitó Barcelona we have worked in recent months with a project to fight against food waste, driven by Espigoladors. The initiative of this corporate volunteerism, organised among Semillas Fitó employees, Barcelona will be based on a training project aimed at school children to work building awareness and ending food waste. During several meetings and workshops between employees and Espigoladors managers, the project has been defined, which will be supported by Semillas Fitó. The goal is to offer an alternative to producers and sellers who generate food surpluses or losses, providing them with an environmentally friendly and socially responsible solution, contributing to boost their social responsibility. For more information about the project: www.espigoladors.com
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VISITS TO PUBLICISE THE COMPANY
Last January we received a visit from Malena, the biggest eggplant wholesaler in the United States. Over three days they visited our facilities in Barcelona, Maresme and Almería, where they learned first-hand how the company works and the importance of our commitment to eggplant, particularly with the black semi-long eggplant with varieties such as Erica and Crystal. During their visit, Malens representatives Roberto Figueroa, Gonzalo Ávila and Peter Hayes were accompanied by Xavier Fitó, Toni Cabrero, Cosme Cota (pictured), Alejandro Lugo and Guillermo Agulla, in Almería.
WE PARTICIPATE IN THE MISSIONS, LEADERSHIP AND SUSTAINABILITY CHAIR
Eduard Fitó was responsible for closing the event
We participated as sponsors at the 4th “Companies with a Human Face” Symposium which took place at the International University of Catalonia (UIC) on March 4, under the slogan “Missions, leadership and sustainability”. Eduard Fitó closed the event which featured speakers such as: Angel Pes, from Caixabank and Chairman of Red Española del Pacto Mundial, Antonio Argandoña, emeritus Economics professor at IESE Business School, Angel Simón, president of the Agbar group, Sergio FerrerSalat, President of Ferrer and Alex Havard, president of the Virtuous Leadership Institute. The symposium offered a humanist vision of business sustainability based on the pillars of personal mission, the meaning of people’s lives, leadership and influence each individual exerts in their environment.
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VEGETABLES FRUIT LOGISTICA, BENCHMARK FAIR IN THE AGRIFOOD SECTOR
It was held in Berlin from 2 to 4 February
During this edition, the message conveyed was very clear: we are a world leader in some segments such as yellow melon, black semi-long eggplant and Dutch cucumber, and we currently have a wide range of varieties for these species, thus covering all types. As in previous years, at the stand we showcased both fresh product — with melon and eggplant featured — and specialities. These specialities include Monterosa which stood out for its shape, colour, texture and flavour (www.tomatomonterosa.com); Zanetti, the Italian-style smooth pepper which stood out for its pleasant sweetness; and Jessy, the Round Violet eggplant that seduces with its shape. All were located in the traditional “Delicious Corner”, converted for the occasion into an attractive Mediterranean kitchen.
Meritxell Serret, new Regional Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food, accompanied by the Managing Director of the DARP Food, Quality and Food Industry, Antoni Díaz, pose at our stand next to Israel Roca, Jordi Ballester and Xavier Fitó
FOOD EXPO From November 24 to 27 in the city of Irapuato, Guanajuato (Mexico) This time around the Mexico team has managed to consolidate the ShowRoom, showcasing a wide range of excellent quality greenhouse and greenfield crops. We highlight the Estrada and Zapata cucumber varieties. The development here is that we can compare field production with hydroponic handling with coconut fibre substrate. The Centauro cucumber is one of our star products, the Byelsa tomato continues to gain market share, the Barcelona eggplant draw farmers’ attention as an option for protected crops and the Cozumel crop for the box market as well as the Blocky pepper for stage B2, HA110865 for the Blocky yellow pepper for the bag segment. In greenfield crops, the Nurizeli pumpkin attracted the interest of a large number of visitors who witnessed the quality and production of the material and the type of plant that makes a product with growth potential for the multivirus segment in Mexico.
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GROWTECH Growtech International took place at the International Exhibition Centre in Antalya, from December 2 to 5, 2015 Growtech Eurasia — the largest trade platform for horticultural markets in Turkey, the Balkans, the states of North Africa and the Middle East — celebrated its 15th anniversary this year. The fair hosted a total of 80,000 professionals from 74 countries, more than 650 leading companies from over 30 countries. Some of our products exhibited there were Recio (pepper), SF 9423 (squash), SF 08/03 (green bean) and Poniente (melon). Also we would like to mention, Calidora (tomato), Dárdanos and Mayor (melon), Brillante (zucchini), Aliaga (cucumber) and Sicily (eggplant)
FIELD DAY DARKQUEEN AGADIR On December 30, more than 150 people attended the field day in the Agadir area dedicated to the launch of our new variety of dark green zucchini: Darkqueen. This launch will allow us to strengthen our leadership in dark green zucchini in Morocco together with Milenio. During the day, both our sales team and those responsible for the CAS (“Comptoir Agricole du Souss”) had the chance to present the agronomic and commercial advantages of this variety and address different issues and concerns of producers, dealing with aspects such as the variety’s resistance, the colour of its fruit, post-harvesting and production. The event was a success and the vast majority of participants ended up setting up their next campaign with Darkqueen.
ANNOUNCING OUR NEWS TO THE MEDIA
On March 1 we invited local and specialised fruit and vegetable media to discover our R&D centre at Santa María del Águila (El Ejido) and learn first-hand about our new launches for the 2016 campaign, which all took place at the same centre. The day was divided into two parts. We first presented the company’s new marketing strategy. Research, Service and Warranty will from now on be the three key messages of our marketing, reflected visually and attractively on all ads, brochures, billboards and other company media. Then we showcased how the work and improvement team at Semillas Fitó Almería makes this one of the company’s top R&D centres worldwide. Dozens of commercial varieties have shipped from these facilities all over Spain, Europe and countries worldwide such as Mexico and Turkey. Some local farmers then opened the doors of their greenhouses to show us live samples of our new products for the 2016 campaign. Journalists were able to gather first-hand information on varieties and take pictures of both plants and fruits.
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Interview to Oriol Francàs
New Vegetable Seeds Communication Strategy Last February, coinciding with the Fruitlogística fair in Berlin, we launched the New Communication Strategy for the Vegetable Seeds business unit. We interview Oriol Francàs, Communication Consultant and one of the people responsible for ensuring the success of the new plan. After 20 years in the Marketing Communication world, Oriol has always worked for many brands from a strategy and creativity standpoint. It has worked for advertising agencies as Strategic Planner and Managing Director.
What triggered the new Marketing strategy for Vegetable Seeds? As the saying goes, “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”. In recent years Fitó has grown significantly as a company, and not all publics know what the company is today. The new strategy addresses a need to sort Fitó’s contents and arguments to reach customers and other stakeholders. The idea is for the brand’s image in the market to mirror the company’s true image. Does the same message need to be project in all Fitó countries? This is the great debate within all multinational brands. My position is that the focus should be the same. It should stem from what the company is and what it represents. But actions have to be customised because the competitive environment, the product range, the customer and the market maturity is different. The aim is to create marketing pieces and elements that serve the most markets, and that is where we are. What are the keys to make it a success? In marketing communication we say that success lies in consistency. We have now opted for a strategy and we must insist on it until it is integrated and recognised by all. The secret is to always say the same thing but in different ways — messages that surprise and are memorable — but building a single concept. What role do the employees of the company play? Employees always play an important role, but in companies like Fitó even more, because messages are conveyed mostly through employees. The most powerful communication channel we have are the people in direct contact with customers. They are the ones that will build the brand image. No action will be as powerful as face-to-face encounters. What three messages should the customer be left with? The strategy is focused on three topics: Research (effort in breeding and new products), service (proximity that make us different) and guarantee (which insists in quality, expertise and brand leadership). What role does digital marketing play today? The way we are all informed is changing, and more and more messages reach us through screens — computer, mobile or projections. In terms of content we should stop thinking of pages, and think of videos, animations, photomontages, etc. As for contacts, we need to consider media such as websites, social networks and WhatsApp. It is not merely a matter of being present in these media for the sake of it. We need to be present to best reach our publics. One aspect that worries is how it calculates the return on investment? How is it evaluated? There is a part which is very difficult to measure and therefore one needs a little faith and believe that image is being built action by action. It is also true that today with digital media everything is more measurable and you can know what banner gets more hits, what content is most likely to go viral, etc.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH 6
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FIELD CROPS FIMA, THE ZARAGOZA AGRICULTURAL FAIR
Semillas Fitó has participated in the 39th edition of the International Agricultural Machinery Fair (FIMA), held from February 16th to 20th 2016. This year we have witnessed a greater influx of visitors to our stand — a unique opportunity to make new contacts and support our customers. The launch of the new Barbens logistics centre and the new marketing program for the NutriEco animal feed received much interest from attendees, as well as the new FitoCare seed treatment solution to improve the protection of corn seed against adverse cold conditions.
Forage Fitomix formulas, the focus of the stand
As for new products, the goal this year was to present the new long-cycle corn varieties — HATAY and TEMUCO — as well as shortcycle corn varieties ASSIST and FORMAT. The sunflower developments have been ASTIGI, ITALICA, NUMANTIA and HISPALIS.
Field Crops Sales team during the fair
Another focus of attention at our stand was the Fitomix forage formula corner, featuring the new ENERGY DIGEST and PERMANENT GRASS.
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AGROEXPO From January 27 to 30 we participated in the 28th edition of AgroExpo held in Don Benito (Badajoz), demonstrating one more year our commitment to supporting Extremadura farmers We took advantage of the fair to introduce two important new corn varieties for this campaign. The new varieties — HATAY and TEMUCO — deliver great productive potential while being very resistant to the fungus Cephalosporium, a disease with devastating effects that can wipe out almost the entirety of production. The sunflower developments were ASTIGI, ITALICA and NUMANTIA, which joined the HISPALIS, a high oleic variety offering high resistance to disease. As customary in recent years, during the fair we organize a technical seminar entitled “Technology for high-yield seeds.” About 200 professional farmers came to learn about the company’s latest developments in Seed Technology and the Fitó Agricultural Solutions for Irrigation and Fertilisation, as well as the marketing programs launched for the area of Extremadura for 2016.
VISIT FROM FRENCH CUSTOMER ETS CASAUS
ETS CASAUS group in Barcelona
CASAUS, one of our key corn distributors in southwestern France, visited us with 25 farmers from their region on January 20 and 21. The visit started in the new Barbens logistics facilities, where Marc Solsona (Director of Field Crops R&D) gave them a presentation of the main activities carried out at this R&D station. The group then visited our new warehouses and seed processing centre for field crops. The next day the visit continued at the main office in Barcelona and the Biotechnology Centre at Cabrera de Mar, where a more general presentation of the company and its R&D was made. The group concluded their visit with a tour of the Llavaneres vegetable production centre.
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TURF GRASSES TALKS IN FRANCE Throughout the month of February several technical seminars were organised by Fitó and several golf clubs in France such as St. Endréol Golf and St. Cloud Golf in Garches. We invited the prestigious researcher and professor at the University of Northern California, Dr Fred Yelverton, who spoke on “Reseeding, a way to fight lawn diseases and pesticide use”. His remarks on the maintenance of golf courses and attracted the attention of all greenkeepers who were able to attend.
SEMILLAS FITÓ TURKEY COMPLETES THE RESEEDING CAMPAIGN Semillas Fitó Turkey has successfully completed the 2015 reseeding season. Semillas Fitó plays a key role in the Turkish market since 2007. Thanks to the quality of our seeds, we have worked for many golf courses and football fields. One of the biggest commitments for this area is investment in issues such as quality control and logistics to provide a better service.
LAWNS IN THE IRANIAN MARKET Lawns and the EUROGARDEN brand are growing in the Iranian market, where we currently have two distributors. Our goal is to increase our market share with technical materials and the organisation of events. A clear example was our visit to the AGRICUL Tech Fair 2016 in Tehran.
TESTING OF TWO RYE-GRASS VARIETIES AT THE CIUDAD DEPORTIVA SEVILLA FC TO CHECK THEIR GERMINATION RATE The effort launched in Dos Hermanas, Seville, is a good example of Seed Technology’s commitment to Turf Grasses. The purpose of the test was to verify if the perennial Rinovo rye-grass treated with film coating and Rinovo rye-grass seed with film coating + substrate germinated before the Rinovo rye-grass seed without treatment and the silver dollar rye-grass seed without any treatment.
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HOBBY SEMBRA PROMOTES KITS IN NUREMBERG For the second consecutive year SEMBRA exhibited at the fair in Nuremberg (January 26 - February 1), one of the largest fairs in the world of the toy industry and the educational world. The team rated the fair strongly, because there were many visitors from around the world which are sure to help expand the brand.
TAPE AND DISK SEEDERS
A quick and easy way to grow from seed Adapted for planting spinach, radishes, parsley, rocket, carrots, basil, oregano, mint, red salad lettuce and summer glory lettuce. Growing carrots, turnips or other vegetables can be quite problematic, especially when working with tiny seeds and we need to worry about the distance between plants and planting depth. New seeder tapes facilitate cultivation with biodegradable paper strips where seeds are already positioned at the right distance. Simply extend the paper, cover and water. We thus ensure success in the planting process and save ourselves the backbreaking work of clearing plants which are too close together. It is also suitable for organic farming. For more information, visit the website: www.fitohobby.com
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Seed Technology... More protection and better productivity In 2014 the company decided to launch a new department that many of us are unaware of or consider strange: the Department of Seed Technology. We call it an embryo department that is part of the Department of Business Development ... it is expected to grow in the future!
WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? • To address threats • To solve problems in seeds
It is partly funded by public subsidies:
Team: • Dr. Juan Jesús Narváez • Dª Virginia Estévez • Overseen by Dr. Jordi Ballester
• Both from the Ministry of Economy of Spain • AGAUR scholarships from the Generalitat de Catalunya
What departments does it work with?:
What types of treatments are there?: • Fertilising • Growth Regulators • Health
• QA • R&D centres (Barbens & Cabrera) • Operations (Vegetable Seeds & Field Crops)
They are applied by Coating, Encrusting and Pelleting.
For corn seeds. They provide additional protection to the seed to face adverse cold and water shortage conditions.
For vegetable seeds. Rooting treatment recommended for areas prone to sudden drops in temperature.
For corn seeds. Boost crop growth. Higher quality and visual appearance of the plant.
Provide greater resistance to disease.
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Getting to know production in
WHAT ESTATES DO WE HAVE?
AGAINST WHAT OTHER PRODUCTION CENTRES DO WE COMPETE? We have centres in Chile, Peru, China, Thailand, USA and recently in India and Kenya. In some of these places we outsource production to local companies.
MOLÍ BOTETA PATOS POZO VIEJO MONTERO
The idea is not to compete between each other. We sow according to the times when the market needs seed. We control production schedules always based on weather conditions. Since we sell all year, we have to be always producing.
WHAT WILL WE PRODUCE IN 2015?
2.750 of hybrids
kg of pure lines
70.000 7.000 30.000 plastic greenhouses
of all production
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WHAT HAVE BEEN THE CHALLENGES IN 2015?
WHAT OTHER ADVANTAGES DOES THE LLAVANERES CENTRE HAVE?
WHAT ARE WE WISHING FOR IN 2016?
We have lowered production costs, considering that we have to sell to different places at different prices, and that we want the highest quality at the lowest cost.
We rank in the Top Ten in terms of productive capacity, boasting high-quality facilities that translate into great stability in terms of quantity of seeds. Productions are 100% reliable at this estate. It has always worked very well.
Remain the same. One is example is that greenhouses are well ventilated and are cooled and heated in summer and winter respectively. But also look for different techniques to help us increase seed yield. We are a very competitive centre internationally.
One breakthrough has been production with bees in cucurbit species such as cucumber, squash and watermelon.
AND HOW IS ALL THIS POSSIBLE? Behind the Maresme production there is a team of people somewhere between 35 and 80 (depending on the season) that make all this possible.Let’s get to know them:
Responsible for Production of all Semillas Fitó Centres.
His role is to organise field staff at the Llavaneres estate. He was the first worker at Llavaneres, having first worked at Molí and years ago in Cabrera. He is self-trained in the company... and has worked 23 campaigns for Fitó, sooner said than done!
Responsible for Maresme productions and for various suppliers in Spain. When they reach Maresme, she launches them, asks for parental seeds and organises the estates according to delivery dates. She started in March 2011, with training as an agronomist.
OUMAR DIT SAFO
Coordinates the staff throughout Maresme and the labelling system at the Llavaneres estate. Organizes daily work for field staff, and is also responsible for seed processing. Originally from Mali, he is based in the Maresme since 2003.
From right to left: Up: María, Oumar, Oriol, Margarita, Víctor. Down: Mónica, Xavi and Julia. All of them (and of course, all of those who are not in the picture) are really important for the Department
Production manager for the Premià area which includes the following estates: Molino, Boteta, Patos, Pozo Viejo and Montero, where she focuses especially on coordinating staff. She began in 1979 as a seasonal worker and continues to love her job, because she adores plants.
She is the Assistant in Production Department. She takes care of sending pure lines and parent seeds, processing production contracts, monitoring the evolution of the production and
import of crops, among other tasks. Maria has recently joined the team. She comes from the Cabrera centre, and the rest of the team is pleased to welcome her. And we cannot forget Xavi and all the field staff who is in daily contact with plants, working in hybridisation tasks, hydroculture, pollination, seed processing machines, etc.
To all of them,
THANKS A LOT!
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EL PERSONAJE FITÓ From runner to marathoner For many, March 13 is just another day in the calendar. Not for Luis. He has it well-circled and memorised. That is the day he will run his second marathon, the 42-kilometre race through the streets of Barcelona which this year reaches its 38th edition with 20,000 runners signed up. We chatted with him days before the big day to know how he got this far, learn how he trains for the event and get a closer look at the feelings of a marathoner.
Luis Carlos Lara AGE: 29 years. CITY OF ORIGIN: From Jaén, living in Mataró for the last 3 years. WORK CENTER: Fitó Barcelona, packaging department. Why did you start running? I’ve always done a lot of sport. I liked mountain biking a lot, but I switched because of time constraints. Half an hour of running equals two of biking. When my daughter was born I wanted to devote more time to my family. So it’s obvious that if you want to make the time, you do. How did you decide to take the big leap and run a marathon? How do you get hooked? I started running half an hour in my town (in Torredonjimeno, Jaén) and as weeks passed my body asked for more. Right there I signed up for the the 10-K race with a friend, in 2012 and 2013 (the day of San Anton). Two years later, when I moved to Mataró (a coastal town 25 km from Barcelona), the weather and the beach invited me to run. And so I signed up to run the Mataró half marathon. I felt very good, almost like I was training. When you make it you want more. The following year I made my debut in the Barcelona Marathon and this year I’m doing it again. The spirit of outdoing oneself is what gets you hooked. Your next challenge is the Marathon. How do you expect to perform? I want to cross the finish line with Carla, my 3yo daughter, in my arms. I’d also like to make better time. I did it last year in 3h 24min 46sec... let’s see if I make it!
What do you think are the qualities of a good runner? As the saying goes, he is made not born. Running is like everything: being constant and seeing results. You say there is a big psychological component. How much truth is there in this statement? Standing at the start line and thinking there are 42 kilometres ahead makes you tired just to think of it. But dividing it into small goals helps. The last 12km are where you have to be most psychologically prepared to not hit what people call “the wall” (for non-experts, it’s a weakness or abrupt and sudden energy slump that occurs just past the halfway mark of the race). This barrier is overcomeby training on cold days, the days you don’t feel like it or when you make excuses, training alone, when feeling lazy and still complete the training you had planned.
And once more, he got it. Congratulations!
GOOD LUCK AND THANKS A LOT! How do you take care of your diet before the big date? During the last month no alcohol and only healthy food. On the last week carbohydrates and staying hydrated. But when you make it, what you most feel like is a beer! What are your favourite places to train? Running along the coast at dawn or dusk is a really privilege - at least for me, because I grew up inland and and I saw the beach once a year if I was lucky! What advice would you give to people getting started in the running world? Start slowly and build gradually so you don’t get tired in two days. Don’t be obsessed with the stopwatch. Go out to enjoy it! Any story of what happened to you in a race or running...? In the marathon you find just about everything, even people in disguise, a guy in a mankini. The best part is the atmosphere. You feel like an athlete. I always
WHAT WILL YOU DO AT THE FINISH LINE?: I guess I’ll cry. It’s a sacrifice. You pay for all that it entails, but it’s worth it. And then I’ll share the medal with my daughter. Last year no one could take it off her! A WISH: No rain, please NEXT CHALLENGE: I have something in mind but I’ll keep it a secret
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run with my mobile. Last year I called my mother during the last kilometre and told her I had made it! We were so excited! This year I asked my friend, my parents and sisters to record words of encouragement in an audio message ... so at km 30 all my loved ones will help me face the final stretch. Tell our readers whatever you want. Running is the best psychologist in the world - and its’ free! It’s good for having new ideas and sorting old ones.
ANOTHER CITY: There are many I’d like to go to: Seville, Paris, Valencia, Bilbao and New York YOUR LATEST FEAT: I’ve signed up to the “Where is the limit” club run by Josef Ajram. He is out of this world, gives you specific workouts and makes you learn a lot THE TOUGHEST PART: Training alone.
CUSTOMERS CORNER Eduardo and Francisco Javier Crespo Fuentes. Company: Crespo Fuentes, S.L. City and country: Almería / Spain. When did you start working with Semillas Fitó? 21 years ago. What is the difference between Semillas Fitó and other companies? For us it’s their quality products. They hold well until they reach their target markets and ultimately the consumer. What products do you sell most? Eggplant. What is the best product for you? Amalia eggplant and Abadía California pepper. What is the most appreciated asset for a seed company? Product and production quality. What is the relationship between Semillas Fitó and you? The years working with them. There is a personal relationship that goes beyond business. How is the seed business in your area now? There is a variety of seed brands and strong competition. Anything to add? Semillas Fitó gives us, as farmers and direct exporters of our product, the best quality seeds and thus added value to our exports.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR COMMENTS!
HUMAN RESOURCES NEW HIRES
Welcome to the Semillas Fitó team... • NAME: Marien Valero • POSITION: Zucchini breeder • WORKPLACE: Cabrera • HOBBIES: roller derby, playing the cello, comics, video games
• NAME: Iván Macarulla Osuna • POSITION: Responsible for logistics and processing at the Bellpuig & Barbens centre • WORKPLACE: Bellpuig & Barbens • HOBBIES: Basketball, running, chess, cinema
• NAME: Leandro Domínguez Jiménez • POSITION: Controlling • WORKPLACE: Turkey • HOBBIES: Learning turkish
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RECIPE OF THE MONTH Our tomato breeder Hüseyin Tümtürk, from Turkey, will help us.
Below the story behing de recipe: İmam bayıldı es uno de los platos tradiThe story behind this dish is that the Imam (a Turkish official in the Ottoman Empire) fainted when his wife told him she’d used up all the olive oil in making this dish. Eggplant is an oil sponge, it loves to soak it up. Having said that, it is also very, very delicious, and if you allow the eggplant to drain well after frying them, you will still cut calories while retaining great taste. Great dish - vegetarian.
İMAM BAYILDI 1. Saute the onions in a little oil.
2. Add the garlic, tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Ingredients for 4 people
3. Cook until it comes together as a very thick stew (no liquid). Stir in mint.
2 medium onions, chopped ½-¾ cup olive oil 2 garlic cloves, crushed 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped 4 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 tablespoon chopped of fresh mint or ½ teaspoon dried mint, crumbled salt and pepper 2 medium eggplants 1 teaspoon sugar 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4. Cut the stem ends from each eggplant and cut eggplants in half lengthwise. 5. Make 3 lengthwise slits, almost from end to end. 6. Heat ½ cup olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. 7. Add the eggplant, cut side down, and fry gently, until dark golden-brown on cut side. 8. Turn over and fry on skin side a couple more minutes. 9. Remove from oil (most of it will have been absorbed) and place on paper towels to drain for at least 15 minu-
tes before proceeding with recipe (this gets rid of most of the oil- you can omit the frying step to cut calories and save time, but you will NOT have the same flavourful results, and the recipe will not be as authentic). 10. Preheat oven to 350°F. 11. Hold each slit apart and spoon the vegetable mixture into each cavity. 12. Arrange eggplants in a baking dish just large enough to hold them. 13. Sprinkle with sugar, lemon juice, and drizzle with the remaining oil. 14. Bake for 40 minutes, or until tender. 15. Serve with lots of crusty bread.
Afiyet olsun (bon appetit)
We welcome the young children of Fitó workers:
Javier Salvador, son of our colleague Salvador Paredes, breeder in Murcia, was born the night of Dec. 14.
Jesus Barraza, our assistant breeder in Mexico has had his second child. The proud father is pictured with his children, the eldest, Jesus Rafael, and the little one, Santiago.
Vasco Jorge Vital, our Portuguese colleague and new Area Manager from Iberia, has been the dad of this beautiful girl. Congratulations!
To all the little ones, welcome to the world! And to all the parents, our sincere congratulations! 16
Do you have any picture or recipe you would like to share with us? Send them to:
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