History - Masiá Ciscar

History

In 1979, we had planted 9 hectares of strawberries and we started the export adventure with shipments to Perpignan with the Martínez Silla brothers using refrigerated trucks which were an ordeal to find.
In 1980, I remember how Mr. Antonio Medina, a person who honoured me with great friendship and mutual respect, used to come three or four times a month during the season and we exchanged ideas while visiting the crops.
In 1998, a new business adventure began, expanding the activity of Masiá Ciscar S.A., a multiplier nurseryman of Strawberry Plants in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.
At present, 100 hectares of fruit is sold by farmers in the area, some with 20 years of trade relations who receive support and technical advice from SAT Las Palmeritas.
The R & D program of companies was born

70’s

On that trip, I was struck by the amount of farms, the good weather, the price of the land, the possibility of expansion, as well as the parallel development of a drip irrigation system that was beginning to shape this new agricultural world.

It was in February 1977 when I first came to Huelva with my wife and children and with Ramón Martínez Silla to see the “Huerta Noble” Finca, recently bought by Ramón himself and his brothers (Juan, Salvador and Ricardo). On that trip, I was struck by the amount of farms, the good weather, the price of the land, the possibility of expansion, as well as the parallel development of a drip irrigation system that was beginning to shape this new agricultural world and that would finally bring about a difference in the management of crops, improving the yields remarkably.

Facing this promising scenario, I found it difficult to get to sleep because my head had only one thought: “Developing my professional life in Huelva.”


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I remember that when we returned to Valencia from this trip, we passed through Almeria and I asked my wife, “What would happen if we came to Huelva?”. When she answered, “Whatever you want,” this increased my desire to come to this “blessed land.”

When we arrived in 1977, we rented 25 hectares. On it, we planted 1ha of strawberries, 5ha of peppers in macrotunnels, 12ha of Cuarenteno tomatoes which were deeply appreciated on the market and 7ha of Santa Claus melons.

I remember the amount of hours we spent with our friends Pedro Artes, Fernando Sarria and others, beating around the bush about how to focus on fertilisation, while at the same time commenting on the results of the different fertigation practices. To tell the truth, it was an exciting world.

In 1979, we had planted 9 hectares of strawberries and we started the export adventure with shipments to Perpignan with the Martínez Silla brothers using refrigerated trucks which were an ordeal to find. In addition, the area lacked any type of infrastructure for services. We had to find and obtain packaging materials in other provinces, etc. Later, all the infrastructure and services were created, but the first years were very complicated.

80’s

In 1980, I remember how Mr. Antonio Medina, a person who honoured me with great friendship and mutual respect, used to come three or four times a month during the season and we exchanged ideas while visiting the crops. During one of these visits, seeing the macrotunnels that we had planted for peppers, he told me: “This system for strawberries!”

Another day, he visited me and again he showed his interest in macrotunnels. The truth is that I did not think twice and decided to make five macrotunnels to try. It was a real revolution for the sector. In fact many Sundays after lunch, we went out for a walk around the countryside and it was normal to meet farmers throughout the province who were interested in the forced system.

In 1981, the first warehouse was built and with it, the first chambers of what is now our Horticultural centre. This warehouse did not exceed 900m2 and, as I said, it represented the roots of what today represents 10,350m2 of modern warehouses for handling, equipped with refrigeration facilities that allow us to prepare our goods in the best conditions for their shipment.


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In 1983, I participated in the Freshuelva foundation, an industry association whose most important function is as the interlocutor of the sector between public administrations, social agents and media. Since its founding and until 2007, I formed part of the Association’s Board of Directors.

In 1985, I participated in the creation of SAT el Rosal together with four partners, Mr. Fernando Sarria, Vicente Martínez, Gaspar Serrador and Manuel Serrador, to develop mainly citrus crops, thus initiating a project of crop diversification that took shape at the end of 1980, with the start-up of 50 hectares of stone fruit in a new farm bought in the municipality of Gibraleón.

In 1988, I created Masiá Ciscar S.A., as a change of legal personality and business model for which I decided to continue a professional activity that began in the 1970.

90’s

In 1992, and together with other companies at a national level, but fundamentally from the region of Murcia, we created an export and marketing consortium “DIFRUSA”.

The idea of ​​creating this consortium came from observing the upward evolution of the national market and the lack of service that the national distribution chains had. For this reason, our first steps in this consortium were based on providing a service to supermarkets in Spain, while still addressing export. As a consequence of this work, the relationship with who today is our main client, “MERCADONA”, was born.

In 1998, a new business adventure began, expanding the activity of Masiá Ciscar S.A., a multiplier nurseryman of Strawberry Plants in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia. This work culminated in 2010 when the title of Multiplier Nurseryman was extended to Multiplier Selection Nurseryman, so it became the first strawberry-producing company in Huelva to control all its plants from the mother plant from the meristem to the plant that produces the fruit in Huelva. Thus, it was possible to avoid dependency on North American nurseries, which contributed more than 80% of the plant material to Spanish nurseries, and to improve the quality and health of plant material.


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In 1999, I held a meeting at my house to talk about the National Strawberry Convention, with Mr. Manuel Verdier, Mr. Pedro Marín and Mr. Miguel Garrido. We suggested this for the first time because we were not able to form a society for research and to obtain new strawberry varieties. This idea was more than justifiable due to the millions that we were paying to breeders for royalties, which at that time were primarily concentrated in the University of California in the United States. From this summer, we started talking with the partners of Freshuelva and in the same year, the Strawberries Research and Development (FID, acronym in Spanish) was created and then with Caja Rural, El Monte, the Andalusian government and some nurserymen, Strawberries New Materials (FNM, acronym in Spanish) was born.

FNM is currently a programme that sells more than 50 million plants in the strawberry sector of Huelva. These varieties stand out for their organoleptic quality and transport capacity, such as the Primoris FNM variety.

In this same year, I decided to give the company a legal form to be recognised as a Fruit and Vegetable Producer Organisation (OPFH, acronym in Spanish) and I created SAT Las Palmeritas as a trading company for all the produce produced by Masiá Ciscar S.A., S.A.T.

2000s

In 2007, I decided to expand the activity in the fruit and vegetable centre of Lepe for the handling of citrus fruits produced in our own facilities, creating 60 stable jobs for 9 months a year and leaving all the added value of the production in the same province of Huelva.

In 2010, I created the company Fresón Isleño S.L in Valsequillo de Gran Canaria in Las Palmas de Gran Canarias (Canary Islands) in order to produce and handle strawberries for supply in the Canary archipelago to our main client, Mercadona.

In 2011, the cultivation and sell of persimmons with 25 hectares in production began, marketing about 2,000 tons per year in a campaign that began in October and ended in January.

At present, 100 hectares of fruit is sold by farmers in the area, some with 20 years of trade relations who receive support and technical advice from SAT Las Palmeritas.

SAT Las Palmeritas, Masiá Ciscar S.A, SAT El Rosal and Fresón Isleño S.L. have a workforce of 1,700 people in full production, granting stable work throughout the year to 460 people.

It has an operational surface of approximately 700 ha distributed as follows:

  • 300 ha of strawberries.
  • 140 ha of clementines and tangerines.
  • 120 ha of oranges.
  • 70 ha of berries.
  • 50 ha of strawberry plant nursery.
  • 15 ha of persimmons.
  • 7 ha of nectarines.
  • 5 ha of limes.