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Nยบ 15

MAY 2017


Fitó News 15

Fitó News 15


CORPORATE Visit to our India subsidiary Last February, Xavier Fitó (Director of the Vegetable Seeds division), Laia Fitó (R&D Director) and Jordi Ballester (Business Development and coordinator for the India project), accompanied by Jaswant Singh (Managing Director of Semillas Fitó India) visited the offices and logistics warehouse as well as the R&D centre housing the tests for varieties which are currently being sold in the country.


They also made visits to suppliers, distributors and farmers in the area of Bangalore and Jaipur, and also enjoyed a nice dinner with everyone on the Indian team.

Fitó-IRTA Collaboration The first quarter of the year is drawing to a close. If I had to highlight recent events, I would underscore—without underestimating everything else—the agreement with the Italian centre on the New Delhi virus and IRTA’s 30th anniversary celebration. We now have partnerships everywhere in the world, working with centres and universities in Chile, the United States, France, Italy, Spain, etc. But of all these collaborations, I wish to emphasise what we have in place with IRTA. R&D is one of our pillars at Fitó. And sharing knowledge is in our very DNA. The joint taskforce created with IRTA is a clear example. Thanks to them, we have been able to

develop cutting-edge biotechnology techniques that have enabled us not only to compete in the market but spearhead high-impact scientific initiatives. And, in turn, IRTA has also benefited from our collaboration. Fitó has helped them set priorities, understand the market and reach world-class scientific recognition levels. Fitó undertakes to sharing knowledge. We do it because our business demands it but also because we believe in it. And collaboration with research centres worldwide is a good example of how we are achieving our mission.

EDUARD FITÓ Corporate Affairs and Business Development Director

2017 R&D Convention From 7 to 10 March the annual R&D convention was held in Vallromanes and Barcelona. Our breeding and biotechnology improvement teams from our centres in Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Mexico and the US were all present. The aim of the event was to create a space for discussion to share knowledge about the future of genetic improvement through workshops and group exercises focused on two specific subjects: complex marker characteristics and heterosis. Taking advantage of the event, the new breeder career plan within the R&D organisation was presented, and the careers of Santiago García, Manuel Fernández and Salvador Peramo were recognised.

Learning with Fitó On 23 February, our colleague Anna Mª Viles, Quality Control Director, gave a fun presentation about the cycle of plants at the Masnou Escolàpies school where she told kids about the features and types of plants and how they have aided in human evolution. Despite having a demanding audience—and that plants don’t move or make sounds—the event was fortunately a big hit. The children paid close attention and enjoyed identifying the various seeds.


Fitó News 15

FITÓ & IRTA A shared story



1880 1976

Fitó is born, dedicated to vegetables and cereals seeds production.

ETSEA, which will train future IRTA geneticists, is inaugurated.

The Food and Agriculture Research and Technology Institute (IRTA) celebrated its more than 30 years dedicated to agro-food research in an event that also served as a framework for reflection for the upcoming challenges. It took place on March 15 at the World Trade Center auditorium in Barcelona, and it hosted around 400 guests.

Fitó News 15

1985 IRTA is born, focused in improving cereals varieties.

Increasing interest of the agricultural sector Crece el interés internacional en la biotecnología in the genetic improvement which becomes the y genómica link between FITÓ and IRTA.

Modern Creación andy high registro productive de variedades varieties modernas are created de and granregistered. producción 1996


GESLIVE is founded in order to regulate these new varieties’ trade.

Increasing interest in biotechnology by FITÓ IRTA wants to become an example in knowledge for the food industry.

FITÓ and IRTA extend their collaboration to vegetables varieties.

Doubled haploid technology Incorporación de la tecnología doble is incorporated in pepper, eggplant haploide en pimiento, berenjena y melón and melon.

IRTA’s vocation is research, which aims to help the Catalan food industry produce healthy, safe and nutritious food for a growing global population and ever-changing world. Since its inception, the institution has worked and prepared to meet emerging challenges. The global context is becoming more complex in terms of climate, society, ethics and sustainability, and IRTA must contribute to the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050. During the gala dinner, Josep M. Monfort, Managing Director of IRTA, listed the six major challenges we face in the coming years: 1. Sustainable and ethical intensification of food production in changing Mediterranean conditions. 2. Enough food: ensure the supply of food to people in a climate change scenario. 3. One Health: food production and consumption to preserve and improve consumers’ health. 4. New production and food processing models, improving consumers’ trust and involving them in food production. 5. The application of new key technologies that enhance the innovation process (Big Data, nanotechnology, epigenetics, etc.) 6. Strengthening the Catalan agri-food system. IRTA’s scientific director, Dr. Conxita Royo stressed that IRTA ranks among the top 25% scientific institutions in the world based on research, innovation and social impact, according to the SCImago 2016 report. Speakers from different organisations such as New Zealand’s Plant & Food Research, Uruguay’s INIA (National Institute for Agricultural Research) and Wageningen University in the Netherlands also took part. Laia Fitó (R&D Director, Semillas Fitó) was one of the speakers, and her talk focused on presenting and reviewing the close collaboration that has developed between our company and the institution over time. Semillas Fitó and IRTA, who have shared goals and concerns since their respective inceptions, have worked together and through a joint task force on improving cereal, melon and vegetable species. Through these synergies and great teamwork, they have established an open relationship of mutual trust which has bolstered close professional and personal ties. Once the event concluded, in line with its values and mission, IRTA offered attendees a dinner prepared from foods that would have otherwise been discarded, which made it possible to save 220 kg of food, save 140m3 of water and avoid 55kg CO2 emissions.

The first in vitro culture laboratory is created in FITÓ Barcelona.

RAPDs technology is incorporated in Quality Control.

Increasing Crece el interés international internacional interestenin biotechnology la biotecnología and y genómica genomics.

FITÓ wants to incorporate biotechnology applied in genetic improvement. IRTA wants to be a scientific example and strategic ally of the food industry.

FITÓ achieves melon leadership in the Spanish market.


IRTA adopts the species as one of their main investigation lines.

First release of the melon’s genetic map.


MIXED UNIT IRTA-FITÓ CREATION GOAL Development of biotechnology tools applied to vegetables genetic improvement.

2007 ANOVE is born in order to protect and defend the intellectual property.

2007 2012

A new and modern Biotechnology Laboratory is inaugurated in FITÓ Cabrera de Mar.

Methodologies such as Genome Editing Crece el interés internacional en la biotecnología and the presence of bioinformatics are the basis y genómica of future joint projects.

90 5

Melonomics is released and obtains the sequence of the melon genoma. Currently

Participation in

internal projects developed in genomics, cell biology and pathology

national and international public projects

One patent obtained

More than 5000 molecular markers developed

Ciutat de Barcelona ’94 Prize CDTi to the public-private technologic innovation 2002 Prize


Fitó News 15

Fitó News 15



Sponsorship of the Convegno New Delhi Virus in Italy On 2 February in Latina (Italy) a technical conference was held on the New Delhi virus which caused serious production problems in the central area of Italy during the last months of 2016. This region is characterised by the production of cucurbits, both greefield and in greenhouses.

Fruit Logistica 2017

Semillas Fitó, with the collaboration of Mediana Cooperative, managed the event’s organisation, which was attended by about 300 people including producers, technicians and nurserymen. The presentations were given by three university researchers (two virologists and an entomologist) who explained and illustrated how the virus originates and spreads, highlighting control strategies and vector (silverleaf whitefly) control strategies resulting in virus control.

FL’17 IN NUMBERS Semillas Fitó attended Fruit Logistica in Berlin one more year. The event draws the world’s leading brands of seeds, plant nutrition and protection for the horticultural sector and major fruit and vegetable retailers. In this edition, which took place from 8 to 10 March, Semillas Fitó surprised everyone with its wide range of products presented through an eye-catching stand inspired by the Mediterranean market, displaying the company’s multinationalism by exhibiting varieties sold in its various markets. The recognised Monterosa tomato brand was profiled in its own area, attracting the interest of new visitors. A tasting bar gave visitors the chance to try some of the varieties offered. During these three days we received visits from our international customers, mainly from the European Union and Middle East markets with the aim of discovering the latest developments and exchanging views on the sector’s current situation.

Last March the Vegetable Seeds Annual Conference was held at the testing station in the Jordan Valley. Distributors from over twelve Middle Eastern countries attended the event, as well as trade representatives from the head office.















VEGETABLES It is an ideal way to bring together all the company’s Marketing Managers, Sales Managers and Area Managers to exchange opinions, findings and new challenges for the sector and the company. The first day of the event was reserved for the annual sales meeting and a group workshop on new trends in marketing and distribution in the food industry

The whole international team of Vegetable Division.

Vegetable Seeds Annual Conference in the Middle East

Raúl Martínez, Marketing and Sales Manager for Asia and Africa with the Middle East team.

Customers told us that they greatly appreciate how quickly we offer high-quality new varieties each year. They especially highlighted the HA 080264 pepper, the Winter Beit Alfa MIN 13072 cucumber, the RED 130419 and RED 120350 eggplants, and tomato LSS 13135.

After a presentation underscoring the added value of our varieties, in subsequent individual meetings distributors expressed how pleased they were that, despite the difficulties facing the Middle East, Semillas Fitó continues to develop unique varieties meeting the needs of farmers in the region. The meeting was also attended by members of Biotechnology and R&D to witness in person the resistance of tomato crops to new viruses in order to develop new resistant varieties.


Fitó News 15

Fitó News 15

Strengthening ties in corporate visits

First Field Week in Sicily

In early 2017 we have organised interesting corporate visits that have offered us new opportunities to show our scale as a company and strengthen ties with our customers.

Paolo Restuccia from “Ecofaber Semilleros” with our partners Raffaele Giurato, Commercial Technician from Eastern Sicily, Giovanni Fallico, Crop Advisor of Solanaceae in Italy, and Saverio Pacetto, Sales Manager from Sicily.

We started with a visit from six Mexican producers guided by our Area Manager, Cosme Cota. We toured the improvement fields in Almeria and later the Barcelona facilities, the Biotechnology Laboratory in Cabrera and the production plant in Llavaneres. We received the second visit of members from Cooperativa Murgiverde from 10 to 12 January in Barcelona. The cooperative includes more than 400 farmers cultivating 1,400 hectares of greenhouse fields, accompanied by Carlos Fernández, Eggplant Crop Specialist in the Almería region. In February, José Antonio Zafra, Melon Crop Specialist in the La Mancha region, came for a second visit with members of the company Serifruit de Castellón (specialists in Santa Claus melons) and Ecoagricultor of Membrilla, plus three other melon producers in La Mancha and two buyers from Valencia and Villaconejos.

In March we organised a cross-site visit to the facilities in El Ejido and Barcelona for Russian distributors invited by Igor Jozic, Area Manager in Eastern Europe. In addition to offering them the tour of facilities and test fields, we invited them to visit Cooperativa Eurosol to see how it works and is structured. In April we received a visit from Cooperativa Gregal de Murcia, which boasts 137 members and 80,000 tons of annual production in fruits and vegetables and the largest seller of Galia melon in Europe. We also received a visit from company Indasol S.A.T. in the area of El Ejido, which produces more than 100 million kg per year, mainly red and yellow California pepper, cucumber and watermelon.



In late March, we organised the first Semillas Fitó Field Week in Sicily, related to the Fedele tomato. This is a new variety of cherry tomato, suitable for long-cycle transplants. It stands out for its quality and long shelf life.

About 350 people were present, including farmers, technicians and sales people from the area. Tomato growers greatly appreciated the new variety because of the plant’s generative potential, the bright red colour of its fruit and its superb taste. They were also able to witness its high yield first-hand and in real-life conditions since they had the opportunity to see the flowering Fedele plants, which differentiates us from the main cherry tomato competition in Sicily.

adequate time to each visitor and show them the variety with no hurries, going into detail about the features and performance of the hybrid and the most appropriate technical-agronomical management methods. Many farmers returned on several occasions with personal contacts, co-workers, technicians and trusted sales agents to discuss the effective potential of the promising variety Fedele.

According to Giovanni Fallico, Solanaceae Crop Advisor in Italy, this unique and innovative event allows us to have direct and personalised contact with attendees. Given continuing research into alternative varieties and its importance for farmers, the goal was to give

Workshop about the melon sector in La Mancha Last 23rd of March our colleagues José Antonio Zafra, melon and watermelon Crop Specialist, and Manuel Fernández, white meat melon Breeder, participated as speakers at the workshop “Vertebration and organization of the melon and watermelon sector in Castilla-La Mancha” held in Tomelloso, Ciudad Real. Semillas Fitó was one of the sponsors of the day and presented the changes and trends of the internal and external market for melon and watermelon to rectors, technicians and managers of cooperatives in the region who trade with these specialties. The opportunity was taken to present the new company’s melon varieties and its clear commitment to quality, without forgetting the profitability and emphasizing the importance of improving the sector through professionalization. The day served as well to review the market situation and the predictable scenario which the sector is facing, highlighting the increase of the watermelon export in the region. It was also advised on the prevention and good management of production to avoid the New Delhi virus. Emphasis was placed on the need to focus on quality without affecting production, and on the maintenance of the union to face the challenges in terms of internal regulation, promotion and research, so that the sector does not lose market share.


Fitó News 15

Fitó News 15

FIELD CROPS We attended the 29th edition of the Agroexpo Fair


Present at the major industry events Agricultural Fair in Valladolid From 8 to 11 February we participated in the fifth edition of the Agricultural Fair of Valladolid where we presented forage formulas, Hybiza wheat, Atlas corn and our new consulting product, Fitó Care. Our stand attracted many visitors and gave us the opportunity to welcome Isabel García Tejerina, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment, with whom we exchanged views on the sector.

Enrique Martín, Area Manager for the Northwest with Javier Bueno and Rubén Miño, Commercial Technicians.

Valencia de Don Juan Fair On 20 February we went to the Valencia de Don Juan Fair accompanied by our distributor in the area, BRC Protección de Cultivos. There we met with our customers, with whom we exchanged impressions on Hybiza wheat and the spectacular evolution of FitóMix mixtures, as well as presenting other products.

Trofa Annual Fair At the Trofa (Portugal) annual fair, held from 3 to 6 March, the corn season officially kicks off. Semillas Fitó took advantage of the event to launch its Temuco and Sagunto varieties. Jorge Manrique, Production Manager of Don Benito, with Pedro González, Production Technician.

Raimundo Páez, Area Manager for the South and Portugal during our presentation, with Lidia Paredes, Trade Makt Manager of Field Crops, Marc Solsona, R&D Manager of Field Crops and Mª Ángeles Achón, the rapporteur.

For yet another year, we kicked off the year at the Don Benito (Badajoz) Agroexpo Fair. This edition was marked by a high number of farmers visiting our stand and the fair in general. The organisers confirmed that the fair has grown in number of exhibitors and attendees, consolidating itself as an must-attend agricultural event for the southern part of the peninsula, not only farmers from Extremadura but also many from Portugal, Andalucía and Castilla, mainly.

This year, Mª Ángeles Achón gave a presentation on viral corn diseases which was very well-received by the over 115 farmers and technical distribution representatives present. Worth highlighting is the keen interest shown by technical staff and farmers from the area of Alagón, where cooperatives such as COPAL (Coria) told us about the high impact of the virus in the area and the need to know more about the subject. Farmers were also keenly interested in our material on high tolerance and resistance—also presented at the event.

This was a new opportunity to introduce our new product Fitó Care, which offers solutions based on plant nutrition that help overcome initial crop situations. It provides additional protection for the seed to face adverse cold and water shortage conditions, while helping optimise fertilizer use. This feature ensures production and clearly sets us apart from the competition. Mollerusa Fair Coinciding with St. Joseph Day, Semillas Fitó was present at the Mollerussa Fair. This event is very traditional in the province of Lleida, and yet another year we have left satisfied with the high attendance, both from exhibitors and customers in the region. We attended with two of the leading distributors in the province: Farratges Nabau from Linyola and Agroalsina Plus from Fondarella.

Pere Luna, Area Manager for the Northeast with the Technicians and distributors in the area.

Although we showcased all our corn varieties, we created great excitement with PORTBOU—a variety that stands out for its high yield—and VICTORIA FS21, a pelletted alfalfa seed inoculated with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.


Fitó News 15

Fitó News 15 New.pdf

Collaboration with the “Conreus Farratgers Event”













New coating system launch

Each year, Cooperativa Ivars d’Urgell organizes a benchmark workshop on forage crops. This time around, the event focused on the dissemination of agricultural information useful for managing and growing alfalfa. Speakers from IRTA and the University of Lleida explained the importance of optimising various agricultural practices for this crop. We were pleased to present a new product: Victoria FS21. This is our classic Victoria variety treated with Fitó Óptima and Fitó Power, our latest innovation in treating alfalfa seeds.

Juan Jesus Narvaez, Seed Technologist, at a time of Victoria FS21 presentation.

New visits to discover the company

Burgos sunflower farmers Last January we received the visit of 50 sunflower farmers from Burgos. We gave them a tour of our facilities in Les Cases de Barbens, Cabrera and our headquarters in Barcelona.

Osona cattle farmers In March, our distributor Agrocomercial Tió (Gurb) accompanied 52 cattle farmers in the area of Osona to our facilities in Les Cases de Barbens.

La Garrotxa cattle farmers Some cattle farmers from La Garrotxa also toured our facilities in Barbens, Cabrera and Barcelona in March, along with our distributors, SAT Vall d’en Bas and Marcel·li Boada. Corporate visits are always a big success, and our customers leave satisfied and surprised at the large size of the company.

Since the beginning of the year, Fitó has enjoyed the latest turfgrass and forage seed coating technology at its facilities in Les Cases de Barbens. This system is equipped with precision valves for injecting liquid reagents and powder dispensers for encrusting-based coating treatments. Encrusting involves homogenising the seed shape by increasing weight. There are several advantages of this treatment for the seed user: the coating protects the seed from the seed drill’s mechanical stress, avoiding the dispersion of seeds by the wind, facilitating visibility of the seeds, enhancing a more homogeneous seeding, etc. The coating also facilitates germination by increasing water retention while hindering seed predation by birds and insects.

Our partner Juan Civit Meler from our center of Les Cases de Barbens.

On the other hand, it is possible to add various active ingredients to the coating that improve crop seedlings under unfavourable conditions. In the case of leguminous seeds, such as alfalfa and clover, encrusting technology allows inoculation with rhizobia. Rhizobia are beneficial microorganisms that create an advantageous relationship with the leguminous plant. Thus, once the seed germinates, Rhizobium (present in the encrusting treatment) colonizes the root system and delivers nitrogen to the leguminous crop, avoiding the need for nitrogen fertilisation applications.



Fitó News 15

Fitó News 15


EIGCA Annual Meeting On 24 March the annual European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA) meeting took place in Marbella, where Semillas Fitó played an outstanding role as the only seed company present at the event. The company was also privileged to make a presentation on “Turfgrass selections for Southern Europe” for the 100 professionals present.

2017 Turfgrasses Convention The 2017 Turfgrasses Convention took place on 22 and 23 February, attended by 25 distributors in Spain and Portugal. The first day was spent on a tour of the new facilities of the Les Cases de Barbens (Lleida) Logistics Centre featuring the newly-installed turfgrass seed mixer, pelleting plant and Quality Control Laboratory. In addition, Juan Jesús Narváez, Seed Technologist, gave a presentation explaining the advantages of seed pelleting.

Josep Cirera with Paul O’Brien, Senior Member of the EIGCA.

Tour Pro (GDE) presented as an international breakthrough in Florida

The second day was spent visiting the main Semillas Fitó centres in the Maresme area (Barcelona). The day began at the Sant Andreu de Llavaneres golf course, accompanied by greenkeeper Octavi Creus. Then they moved to Cabrera de Mar where Josep Cirera, Turfgrasses Director, and Kadri Abbassi, Key Account Manager, guided visitors around the turfgrass Test Field and the Biotechnology Laboratory.


The convention framework also allowed us to take stock of 2016, explore the current situation and introduce new Seed Technology and Marketing products. Moreover, Kadri Abbassi and Paco Molina, sales technicians, talked about the C3 (cold weather) and C4 (warm weather) species respectively. In February, at the Golf Industry Show in Orlando (Florida), Semillas Fitó presented the creeping bentgrass Tour Pro (GDE) variety as a world first.

It is the first of these varieties developed by Semillas Fitó at the Rutgers testing station (New Jersey, USA). It is a leading variety in the NTEP, which will be available starting next fall for American and Chinese markets and will later hit Europe in early 2020.


Fitó News 15


Juan Antonio Navarro Montes

Born into a retail business family, in 1979 he decided to make a significant shift in his family’s business. While still selling grain and feed he decided to add fertilizers, crop protection products and seeds to their catalogue. He established the company as Navarro Montes Agro S.L. and started his business relationship with Semillas Fitó.

Fitó News 15

After all these years of business relationship, what would you highlight about Semillas Fitó? In addition to the quality of its products, what I would highlight about Fitó is its virtue of staying close to customers and maintaining its family business values even after its meteoric growth, grounded on the work ethic of its founders (which they have managed to pass on to the next generations) and everyone’s contribution to the team. What features to you value most in Fitó products for your business and what do your customers request the most? The most important thing when recommending a product is quality, knowledge of its features and confidence in both the product and the brand. When we recommend something, we are putting on the line our reputation — earned over decades—, our customers’ trust and especially our credibility. All this is important when choosing the products we distribute. The mutual trust we have with Semillas Fitó, consolidated over so many years of business and personal relationships, makes us work with complete confidence. Josep Cirera’s knowledge of turfgrass and the trust he inspires facilitates the task of introducing new varieties.

Juan Antonio’s passion for the field and for learning have led him during all these years to be interested in his clients’ needs and to find the best solution, selecting the best suppliers in order to fulfil this commitment. This interest has also led him to produce different varieties of turfgrass which he sells in turf rolls and strips. He enjoys taking long walks at the production farm every chance he gets.

Your vision from the beginning—committed to an expansion of the product range in divisions which at that time were not as well-defined as today—brought you good results throughout your corporate history. But you must also have gone through moments of uncertainty. Did you experience difficult situations before the market consolidated, moments when you questioned your business strategy? We realised that lawn maintenance was very different from agricultural crops, and that we needed specific knowledge and care. My philosophy as a business leader is to provide customers with the knowledge and advice they need to ensure maintenance and address problems as they arise. This prompted us to specialise and devote part of the company’s resources to this sector. This decision has led to some good and some bad moments. This sector—unlike agriculture—is very sensitive in times of crisis. It depends heavily on tourism and in the last decade, its exposure to the construction sector has been very strong. This has resulted in the sector having to suffer these fluctuations, especially the crisis of 93 and the one from which we are still recovering.


Do you have an established range you offer or do you like to test new products that appear on the market? The Semillas Fitó catalogue is complete and always growing with interesting new products. Your region has great tourist appeal for the quality of its golf courses, which fuels the growth of your sector.

The companies have worked and grown together in the turfgrass industry for many years, specialising in this sector thanks to the development and boom of golf courses in the Costa del Sol region, serving the best golf courses in Europe. Navarro Montes currently operates in the provinces of Cádiz, Málaga, Seville and Huelva, a national benchmark in the turfgrass market, mainly golf courses and sports fields.

Navarro Montes boasts over 30 years specialising in the turfgrass sector, even before Semillas Fitó started focusing on turfgrass seeds. Together we have worked hard for more than 20 years. Throughout this period, we have maintained a very close relationship to bring to market the most suitable seeds to meet the needs of our customers. This good relationship and Semillas Fitó’s eagerness to find the best seeds and meet the customer’s demands has resulted in the position it enjoys today as a leading company with very good reputation among industry professionals.

Jaume Fitó was the responsible for delivering the trophy. What is the current situation in your region and in the domestic market in general? The fact that we are a benchmark region also means that it is highly competitive in all aspects. The sector has suffered greatly from the crisis. Now it seems we are starting a new phase—not of growth, but certainly stability—as we face and overcome the aftermath of the crisis. During these years of growth and learning together in the turfgrass field, what has the relationship with Semillas Fitó contributed to you and what have you contributed to Semillas Fitó?

And finally, what is your outlook for the company? Will new generations continue with your same vision of growth? Today we are a small business group that includes Navarro Montes, Navarro Zoovet, Unovet and Tepes del Sur. All of these companies boast a young and well-prepared team ready to face the future with great optimism. With regard to the generational change, my daughter Blanca is on board. She has more extensive training than I do, great enthusiasm and excellent business ideas. This is allowing me to enjoy a lot and have the peace of mind that I am leaving the baton in the best hands. * Jaume Fitó presented the trophy.


HOBBY Expogarden 2017 Semillas Fitó’s Hobby took part in a new edition of the Expogarden congress in Palma de Mallorca on 2 and 3 February, organised by the AECJ (Spanish Association of Centers of Gardening) which this year celebrated its 40th anniversary. Expogarden is firmly established as an essential nationwide event for garden centres and partner companies. The event at the Balearic capital triggered great interest. Although the number of visitors was lower than other years when the event took place on the Spanish mainland, about 45 partner companies, 50 member garden centres and 12 non-member garden centres were present. During these two days we had the opportunity to attend scheduled talks where we could share impressions and concerns with other exhibitors. About 200 people attended the closing gala dinner.

The Monterosa plant is already on sale! The success of the Monterosa brand in the tomato market has encouraged us to bring the product to non-professional clients who want to grow this unique variety in their own garden or orchard. The Monterosa plant for the amateur sector is already on the shelves of many garden centres throughout Spain thanks to the collaboration with Hobby Saliplant. Monterosa seeds are also available on our website at


Recipe of the month

Fitó News 15



JOB POSITION: Seed Supply Assistant. BUSINESS CENTER: Barcelona, Spain HOBBIES: Sports in general (trekking, cycling, swimming…), cinema and making pastries.

JOB POSITION: Trial Officer. BUSINESS CENTER: Almería Research Station HOBBIES: Cooking, gardening, hiking, playing football, reading, cinema and TV series.



JOB POSITION: Agro-industry Promoter in Ribera del Ebro, Spain BUSINESS CENTER: Spain HOBBIES: Music, rugby, the mountain and everything related to outdoor activities.

JOB POSITION: Customer Service of Field Crops in North-East of Spain BUSINESS CENTER: Barcelona, Spain HOBBIES: Cooking, reading and watching TV series.



JOB POSITION: Development & Sales Representative of Vegetables and Agro-industry in France BUSINESS CENTER: France HOBBIES: Playing the guitar, listening to music, running and playing squash, and being with family and friends.

JOB POSITION: Development & Sales Representative of Field Crops in Extremadura, Toledo and Madrid. BUSINESS CENTER: Spain HOBBIES: Spending time with family, hunting and nature in general.



JOB POSITION: Development & Sales Representative of Field Crops Division in Huesca. BUSINESS CENTER: Spain HOBBIES: Playing with his son Lorién, walking in the mountain, making craft beer and playing the guitar.

JOB POSITION: Technical and Sales Manager in Sicilia. BUSINESS CENTER: Italy. HOBBIES: Reading, listening to music, photography, sports (running and cycling). He loves technology and has a good knowledge of computer science.



JOB POSITION: Tomato Breeder BUSINESS CENTER: Antalya Research Station HOBBIES: Outdoor activities, handcrafts, redesign of old items, jewellery making, painting…

JOB POSITION: Technical delegate in the area of Lleida BUSINESS CENTER: Les Cases de Barbens, Spain HOBBIES: Sports (football, running...), visiting Ametlla de Mar in summer, going to the cinema, meeting old friends, travelling and experiencing new things.



JOB POSITION: Development & Sales Representative of Vegetables Division BUSINESS CENTER: Iran HOBBIES: Poetry and literature in general, the nature and environment, and collecting seeds of native vegetables! His favourite vegetable is melon, not only for its aromatic and sweet taste, but also for the wide diversity of existing varieties.

JOB POSITION: Product Manager Large Seeds and Others BUSINESS CENTER: Barcelona. HOBBIES: Playing basketball, horticulture, gardening and travelling around the world.

Uzbek Palov and Achu-Chuk INGREDIENTS • Palov uzbeko: 1 kg of lamb or beef meat 2 medium onions 1 kg of carrots (red and yellow) 1 kg of white rice 2 tsp of ground cumin Salt to taste Some water 1 glass of chickpeas (soaked in water) 200 ml of cotton or sunflower oil 1 garlic bulb (optional) • Achu-Chuk: 1 medium onion 1 Calidora tomato 1 Centauro cucumber Coriander, dill and salt

Fitó News 15


Palov is an Uzbek traditional main course food and although it is probably the most common food in Uzbekistan there are many recipes depending on the region. Here, we present the recipe of our colleague Aziz Makhkamov, who shares with us a part of his culture. Enjoy your meal! Cut 1 kg of meat in 4-5 pieces and slice the onions in 1/4 half circles thinly. Put a large nonstick pot (or Kazan) on high heat, heat the oil and start frying the meat, adding salt and ground cumin, until is slightly brown on all sides. Add the onions and fry it until are soft and golden brown. Add water until it covers meat, mix it all, cover with a lid and cook on medium-high heat for 10’. Cut the carrots into julienne and add them evenly on top of the meat and onions, without mixing. On top of them add the soaked chickpeas. Let it cook for 15’ on medium heat. (If you are using garlic, now is the moment to add it too). Wash the rice well at least 3-4 times. Drain the water and place the rice over the carrots evenly. The water should be enough to cover the rice, but if not, add some more. Close the lid of the pot and let it cook

in medium-high heat for 10’ or until the water is absorbed. In about 8’ flip the top layer of the rice to keep the rice evenly moist. Once the water is totally absorbed, make a dome of rice and then make some holes on it for a better evaporation of water. Lower the heat to the minimum, close the lid again and keep it that way for another 40’ avoiding open the lid. When the rice is well-cooked, mix the ingredients well. If you used garlic, this is the time to remove it. If rice is not ready, add some water and let it cook for 5 more minutes. Serve in a Lagan (traditional Central Asian large plate) and put the meat and the garlic in the middle. Usually Uzbek Palov is served with a special salad named “Achu-Chuk”: slice some onion, tomato and cucumber. Cut some coriander and dill very thinly and add them to the salad. Put some salt to taste and mix.

NEWBORNS Roger Teixidó

On Feb 27th the little Roger was born. He’s the first son of Marc Teixidó, colleague from Cabrera de Mar.

Mar Torres

Mar García Berenguel, Sales Representative of Vegetables in Murcia (Spain), introduces us to the princess of her home. She was born on March 20th.

Laia Salvia

She’s the first daughter of Jordi Salvia, colleague from Bellpuig/Barbens. Her parents are very happy because she lets them sleep at night.

Mustapha Bojang

He was born on Dec 29th and is the son of Alhagi Bojang, colleague from Cabrera de Mar.

Ayud Mousaoui

He’s the third son of Hafida Mousaoui, colleague from Cabrera de Mar. He was born on Dec 30th.

Henrique Sousa

On April 10th the second son of Helder Sousa (Sales Representative of Vegetables in Portugal) was born.