Cultifort travels to Lorca, Murcia, to interview Jorge Arranz, Technical Director of Sacoje. They have 36 years of experience cultivating crops such as broccoli, cabbages, lettuce, melon, watermelon, bimi, etc.


What do you think are the challenges facing the sector today?

We have several problems:

– Limited availability of land and water.

– Severe labor shortage.

– Upcoming challenges in mechanizing harvests.

– High costs. Costs have risen significantly in recent years, and we need to keep improving prices with clients while trying to produce as much as possible and remain as competitive as we can.

Do you want to be a Cultifort distributor?


Broccoli is increasingly considered the food of the 21st century. How do you think it will evolve in the coming years?

In Europe, broccoli consumption will continue to grow. In Spain, the challenge is for consumption to keep increasing. People need to consume more broccoli. In Spain, there are different preferences, more vegetables, and a different way of eating. Broccoli consumption here is not comparable to the UK or Nordic countries, or Germany.

How do you approach innovation in the field: new products, new cultivation techniques, new tools?

A bit of everything. In recent years, we’ve started cultivating new crops like bimi. We now have nearly 600 hectares of bimi, which requires a lot of labor. Hence, the difficulty we face with personnel. We continue looking for new products because the market trend is to keep eating broccoli, but people want new, different things, with colors. All supermarkets and our clients want to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Some new products succeed, while others don’t, making it challenging to find something appealing to the consumer.

In crop management, how important is the role of nutrition?

Nutrition is very important. A well-managed, balanced crop provides noticeable quality. It shows because well-cultivated produce lasts longer on supermarket shelves. Poorly fertilized crops lead to problems.

Have you noticed a change in dietary trends? What has this meant for your production in recent years?

Yes, we have noticed a trend towards smaller quantities. Consumers want to buy in smaller volumes, avoiding spoilage. They prefer new presentations and smaller formats.

How are rising temperatures affecting your crops?

We have to avoid planning based on temperature for the next year because these recent years have been very unusual, with no winters and very long summers.

Is production improvement simply about choosing varieties adapted to winter cycles or planting later?

We need to find the most rustic varieties possible, those that adapt to the temperature changes we’re experiencing. We’re not just looking for winter or autumn plants but those capable of handling these temperature fluctuations.

Do you choose all your varieties based on seed adaptability to the climate conditions you mentioned?

Every year we introduce new varieties. We always seek the most rustic plants from what the commercial seed companies offer. These plants must withstand high temperatures and recover from sudden cold spells.


What solutions do you propose for water scarcity?

Murcia needs to strive for water independence because political changes have shown that water becomes a political tool. For Murcia to function properly, it needs to be autonomous regarding water.

Are there other limiting factors for achieving good product quality besides water and temperatures?

In recent years, we’ve also faced problems with phytosanitary products. Restrictions on herbicides have been stringent. We also struggle to control certain pests.

Thank you very much and see you next time.

My pleasure.

Company: SACOJE


Cultifort interviews Jorge Arranz, Technical Director of Sacoje in Lorca, Murcia, who has 36 years of experience.

Sacoje cultivates products such as broccoli, cabbages, lettuces, melons, watermelons, and bimi. The interview addresses the main challenges in the agricultural sector, including land and water scarcity, labor shortages, mechanization of harvesting, and rising costs. It also discusses innovation in cultivation, the importance of nutrition in crops, changes in consumption trends, and solutions to tackle climate change and water resource scarcity.

Do you want to be a Cultifort distributor?