Editorial Transformation Everything that does not die, evolves. If we do not evolve, we fall behind. At FITÓ we not only want to evolve with our environment. We want to be the driving force of this evolution. Boosting transformation. Our vision is to be company that is constantly transforming the sector. This approach changes things for the better — and not just in the seed sector, but in all industries where we operate and we influence. We want to leave behind the role of the seller to become consultants, as we are doing in the Portuguese and Spanish Field Crops market. Transform consumer tomato habits, first with Tomaco and now with Monterosa (a great success!). Professionalise smallholders in Chile and Turkey, teaching them seed production techniques. Train Indian farms in modern agriculture techniques. Or simply help train the many students doing internships in various offices of our company. All of these are excellent examples of how all Semillas Fitó workers are taking on the role of transformers.
CORPORATE DSP visit
Some associates from DSP, Switzerland visited us in Barcelona on April 12-14. They visited our Maresme and Barbens centres (as shown in the photo). All of them — 16 in total — enjoyed their stay here and were pleasantly surprised at our facilities.
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We joined the ILP, the International Licensing Platform ILP association proposes an agreed patent license framework between companies which at the same time respects the UPOV principles upheld by Fitó. The intellectual property protection mechanism proposed by the UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants) convention is based on the independence of one innovation with regard to another and the exception of vegetable breeders. The nature of the seed business is hence perfectly taken into account while industrial property rights are safeguarded. The emergence of biological material patents threatens to disrupt UPOV principles. So Fitó is thus looking for a way to strike a balance between respecting UPOV principles and the patent law principles.
R&D in Jordan
The second week of March, some people from our R&D department visited Jordan. They had several reasons for their visit. First, to check varieties at all levels for breeders in Spain and Turkey. Second, to check their adaptability in various climatic conditions and their planting times. They also aimed to track the development of new products. And finally, they were able to prove that we are the leading eggplant producer in the Middle East.
Iván Macarulla, was the guide across the Logistic Center in Barbens.
On June 21 we held the Corporate Days at the Cases de Barbens centre. Throughout the day we were able to get an idea of Fitó’s size compared to the seed sector and other industries. We also toured the area to visit the new facilities in Lleida. The day ended with a meal in the garden.
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ISF: Meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay From 15 to 18 May all seed company members of the ISF (International Seed Federation) met at Punta del Este, Uruguay. Semillas Fitó was represented by Eugenio González, Josep Cirera, Xavier Fitó and Eduard Fitó, who was appointed Vice President of the International Seed Federation. Congratulations!! During four days, over 1,000 people from 64 different countries passed through the Conrad Hotel, venue for the event. Company representatives conducted short meetings between industry companies to collaborate or provide solutions for the challenges facing the global seed industry.
Agreement with Valley Seeds to launch new forage seeds in Europe In the last congress of the ISF, in Uruguay, we signed a strategic alliance agreement with Valley Seeds, a company specialising in breeding forage varieties. Fitó will thus launch the latest range of forage seed varieties in Europe supported by this Australian company. Climate change is creating extreme weather conditions in almost all countries of the world, and Europe is no exception. Farmers who depend on forage grasses need varieties with the genetic ability to deliver maximum yields in extreme weather conditions. Donald Coles, director de Valley Seeds con Eduard Fitó, director de asuntos corporativos de Fitó.
Valley’s new range of forage seed varieties has unique attributes as a result of the improvement and research in different climate conditions. With improvements in subtropical climates and arid areas of Australia, Valley Seeds allows for new genetically sustainable forage varieties featuring high stress tolerance while ranking among the most productive in the world.
We participated in the Fifth ISHS International Symposium on Tomato Diseases
We collaborated as a sponsor and attended the symposium which tackled issues of both basic and applied research on tomato diseases caused by viruses, fungi and bacteria. In all, more than 150 specialists from different countries presented progress in their research on key aspects of diseases that affect the cultivation of tomatoes, of vital importance in Andalusia, Spain and worldwide. This international scientific congress is organised by members of the “La Mayora” Institute of Subtropical and Mediterranean Horticulture (IHSM-UMA-CSIC), a joint research centre reporting to the Spanish Higher Council for Scientific Research and the University of Málaga.
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The attendants of Fitó were: Victor Megias, María Berenguer, Huseyim Tumturk and Asunción Lázaro
VEGETABLES FITÓWEEK 2016 MURCIA Melon open-door weeks The event took place in Lobosillo, in the Cartagena countryside. Farmers, retailers and supermarket chains toured the two farm trials with different planting dates. Yellow melons were presented, as Fitó’s yellow melon catalogue covers all segments of global production such as Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Morocco and Spain. There were also Santa Claus melons, including mini specialties, branco melons most popular in Portugal, the kirkagaç from Turkey, galias, cantaloupe and charentais. Picture by Juan Antonio Arcos.
Of these we highlight Mayor, Fitó’s leader in the Moroccan yellow melon market. The Robledo new variety achieves high-grade quality very early in the year and is very productive. Cristiano is on the market since last year. For later dates, we feature Soleares, already established as an early melon.
global development meeting
The Global Development Meeting took place in Barcelona during the first week of April. For the first time in Semillas Fitó history, the Development team — from all parts of the world — met to discuss the department’s lines of action. These were intense days that combined presentations on various topics with working groups for sharing ideas and improvements in the department. The culmination of these days of hard work was dinner at the Miramar restaurant, offering a stunning view of the city of Barcelona, and magic show entertainment.
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Field Day in Jordan
In the third week of March, more than sixty people from Middle Eastern countries attended the field day we organised in Jordan. At this event we presented our plant varieties, which were very well accepted by the attendees. The novelties showcased were the Amalia eggplant, the Eliseo pepper and the Yekta cucumber.
monterosa In Alimentaria In the last edition of the food fair Alimentaria in Barcelona, Jordi Ballester and Francesc Llonch, responsible for Gavà Grup — company responsible for the distribution of Monterosa — presented this new variety to the press. The event concluded with a show-cooking session by Delicious Martha, the foodie blogger, who presented simple recipes that get the most out of the Monterosa variety. Throughout the fair days, the GAVAGRUP booth offered free samples for attendees to discover all its organoleptic properties, especially its taste, its key feature.
In Gava Grup booth there was the possibility to taste Monterosa tomato.
Fruit and Vegetable Innovation Award presented by the La Razón newspaper In the fifth edition of the “To your health” awards Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality, Alfonso Alonso, presented the award to Jordi Ballester, project head, in the presence of the Minister of Health of the Community of Madrid, Jesús Sánchez Martos.
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FIELD CROPS vegasicilia visit In March we had a visit from the company Vegasicilia, a leading company in the wine industry. The team included the technical director and his team.
Josep Mª Pijuan was in charge to show plant roofing to the visitors
Due to Vegasicilia’s interest in plant roofing they visited a couple of farms in the Lleida area. The first farm was Agroflix (Porcioles) in Montgai, a 200 ha. estate that also produces wine. Twenty hectares are planted with recently introduced rustic formula. They also visited a farm in Vilanova de la Barca owned by fruit producer Antonio Mas, who has a rustic formula plant roof on a 100 ha. farm. This roof was sown in November 2013. We convey our thanks to David Tous from SAF and Miquel Aran from Eurofins for proposing and facilitating this visit.
Sant Josep de Mollerusa Fair
Last March 16 - 20 the Mollerussa Fair was held one more year, the archetype of agricultural fairs in Spain. It coincided with the corn planting season and our new products featured this year include Hatay cycle 700 and Tampa YG. We also underscore SAF (Fitó Agronomic Solutions), which are applications developed by Semillas Fitó focused on cultivation profitability studies, irrigation optimisation (irrigation probes), fertiliser optimisation (soil analysis) and Nutrieco, to enhance the profitability of farms and livestock.
19th International Sunflower Conference in Turkey
Organised by the International Sunflower Association (ISA) and the Trakya University (TU) in Edirne, Turkey, the conference aimed to present scientific topics of general interest to the sunflower community. The event featured more than 600 exhibitors from a total of 41 countries. Semillas Fitó sponsored the event and also collaborated with the lectures. We also had the opportunity to present our catalogue of varieties such as Cartago, Itálica and SF10G37 again demonstrating our ambitious project in sunflower cultivation.
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TURF GRASSES FEAGA: the Agriculture and Livestock Fair of the Island of Fuerteventura The event is organised every year by the Island Council of Fuerteventura, through its Ministry of Agriculture, at the Pozo Negro Experimental Farm, in the municipality of Antigua. The event mobilises the whole island. This year it attracted 25,000 visitors as 25% of the island’s population visited the Fair at different times. This year the event took place April 21 - 24, coinciding also with celebrations of the 130th anniversary of the Canary Islands tomato. We were represented by the dealer in the area, Canarias Explosivos SA. It was a great success thanks to keen interest from professional farmers and hobby customers. It’s not just a fair — it is something much more special for the islanders. Given the high percentage of population attending the fair, it becomes a large gathering of family, friends, acquaintances and neighbours. The Fuerteventura residents still live out their traditions and maintain their ties with local agriculture, with Canarian music, wine and cheese.
HOBBY Green bean MASTERCLASS
Occasionally the Hobby unit organises an internal Masterclass dealing with certain legumes in its product portfolio. The latest Masterclass showcased our green beans. The idea was to tour a test field located in the center of Cabrera de Mar, where all our commercial varieties were planted alongside those of our key competitors. We first conducted a field visit to note the differences between the different varieties first hand. Later, in the centre’s meeting room, we analysed sales results for the Hobby unit and the professional Vegetables unit in the domestic and export markets.
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Fitó and Sembra: A new horizon The Hobby unit was boosted when Elisabet Fitó joined the Semillas Fitó team in 2010. After six years of much work, effort and with very good results within the unit, new business opportunities have emerged that go beyond seeds, which the company wants to capture. This led to the creation of Sembra.
The Fitó Hobby unit remains in place with a new team and a vision of being the benchmark in orchard and garden seeds for local consumption.
José Ramón Lezana
SEMBRA aims to offer amateur gardeners a wide range of products and service for learning and advancing in their hobby.
Elisabet Fitó Inesperienced adults
Children from 5 to 10
OUR RANGE OF PRODUCTS Laura Gelabert
Two new hires.
Products for schools
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A life playing baseball
our colleague, Breeder from Culiacán (México)
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When did you start playing this sport? When I was 4 years old my dad enrolled me in the “nappy” category of a baseball team. Why this hobby and not something? Since I can remember, I’ve played baseball. My father liked the sport since his youth, and the truth is that I really like it. How long do you spend on your hobby? Currently one day a week (Saturday or Sunday). How far does your passion for this go? I love baseball since I was small. It’s in my blood. And just as my father did with me, I’ve signed up my five-year-old son to play on a baseball league. Do you have any baseball anecdote? I remember that when I was small I was afraid that the pitcher’s ball would hit me. I had witnessed who some players on my team being hit lightly and they cried, so I was afraid of being hit and crying in fron of all the spectators. When I walked up to the home plate I was a bit nervous, but once I was hit on the arm I lost my fear.
CUSTOMERS CORNER Silvia Muñoz
What is your relationship with SF? We have a relationship of partners in which trust is key. Both companies seek to ensure the greatest benefit for the other party.
Company: Hijos de Teodoro Muñoz “El Campo” City & country: Sanchonuño, Segovia, Spain
What is the seed business like in your area now? It is growing. In the case of sweet corn, there are increasingly more companies that want to introduce their seeds.
When did you start working with Semillas Fitó? We started working with Fitó in 2006. What is the difference between Semillas Fitó and other companies? Fitó’s hallmark is the quality of its seeds and consequently the final product. It also offers great after sales support. What are your best-selling products? In our case we buy seeds for our flagship product, sweet corn. What is the best product for you? For us — and we only sell corn — this is the best product. Thanks to their great quality, we sell premium quality corn cobs.
Any other comments? Our R&D and innovation department works together with them to search for new varieties. We develop 200 different varieties every year.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH! What is the most appreciated quality in a seed company? Quality is a key aspect since without it the product we sell would not meet our standards. Service is also another point to consider in choosing a seed supplier.
HUMAN RESOURCES NEW HIRES
Welcome to the Semillas Fitó team... • NAME: Aarón Blanco Carrillo • POSITION: Sales and development • WORKING CENTER: West and Northeast Mexico • HOBBIES: I love music, hanging out with my family and visiting new places
• NAME: Hélder Sousa • POSITION: Vegetable Sales Technician, Portugal • WORKING CENTER: Portugal • HOBBIES: Cinema, Reading, Sports (Swimming) and spending time with family and friends
• NAME: Rusen Ugurtepe • POSITION: Field Crops Key Account Manager Russia/CA/ME • WORKING CENTER: Turkey • HOBBIES: Swimming, fishing
• NAME: Eva Mota • POSITION: Field Crops Import • WORKING CENTER: Barbens • HOBBIES: Rollerblading
• NAME: Juan José Arredondo Osuna • POSITION: Farm Manager • WORKING CENTER: México • HOBBIES: Softball and volleyball
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RECIPE OF THE MONTH Our colleague Lola, from Almería, proposes this recipe featuring one of the products in this campaign: the Amalia eggplant.
Serves 4 people 1 eggplant (better if Amalia) 400 g of minced meat 1 medium onion Fried tomato 2 slices of melting cheese Olive oil Pepper Oregano Salt
Preparation 1. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and make several cuts in the meat. Pour a little oil on top and microwave for about 15 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, pour a little oil in a skillet, add minced meat and onion and brown well. 3. After 15 minutes remove the eggplant from the microwave. Remove eggplant meat, mince it well, add it to the meat and onion skillet. Stir everything well. 4. Stuff the eggplant with the mixture, add a little tomato sauce and spread it well. 5. Add cheese slices and a little oregano. 6. Heat it two minutes in the microwave — and it’s ready to serve!
We welcome the young children of Fitó workers:
Ivet, daughter of Julio Tovar, Barcelona maintenance, was born on May 11. Ivet is the second girl, and her sister Ariadna is delighted.
Marta Tió from Bellpuig lab gave birth to two little ones on March 17: Adrià and Sergi.
On May 22 our colleague Yolanda Carrillo was mom for the second time, after 8 years, of a child they have called Asier. Pictured here with his older sister Nayar.
To all the little ones, welcome to the world! And to all the parents, our sincere congratulations! 12
Do you have any picture or recipe you would like to share with us? Send them to:
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