Sovena Feeding Futures

Business areas

AGRICULTURE

We are Conscientious Cultivators.

From land to plate, we believe in the food cycle. And we believe that we will have a greater impact when we can secure the entire production process for our foods. From the land to the mill, from the mill to the plate, we have succeeded in developing complete and sustainable production cycles. We rolled up our sleeves and put in the work with sunflowers, peanuts, seeds and grains. Along the way, we grew much more than that.

We created relationships and partnerships that grew with us and took us far beyond Portugal, bringing us to the wider world. We managed to take root in countries like Spain, Brazil, the United States, Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East, Morocco and Tunisia. And we want to cast our seeds into the wind and reach ever further.

We explore fields and rebuild factories. We have more than 14,600 hectares of olive groves, mainly in the Alqueva area of Portugal. In partnership with Elaia, we tend to our estates, look for new land when necessary, manage our mills and select the most suitable olives for each type of olive oil. We know the precise destination of each and every seed and grain. We know that nothing is wasted, rather everything is transformed with the help of the most advanced technology allied with the knowledge that only experience can impart. Have a look at our numbers:

Countries Hectares  Gross Hectares
Portugal 8.581 10.269
Spain 1.607 1.636
Morocco 1.054 1.332
Total 11.242 13.237

 

 

 

 

 

    Country
Olive Mils Grinding capacity (Tonnes olives/day) Cellar (Tonnes Oil)
Portugal Ferreira do Alentejo (Marmelo) 1.000 4.800
Portugal

Avis (Painho)

800 3.300
Spain

Badajoz (Navalvillar de Pela)

350 990
Morocco Marrakech (Olico) 350 1.500
Total   2.500 10.590

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How we plant and produce our food:

We believe in potential and discovering new techniques in order to fulfil it. This is why we have chosen "New Oliviculture", which uses drip irrigation systems and allows us to increase and stabilise production. In this way, we can help to grow more varieties and increase the effectiveness of harvesting and pruning through mechanisation.

In partnership with Elaia, we are currently exploring Intensive and Superintensive Olive Groves, according to the land being cultivated - from relief to sun exposure, each and every aspect can potentially make a difference to the future of our food.

The difference between Intensive and Superintensive Olive Groves is the plantation density and the precocity of production capacity. While the former has 300 to 400 olive trees per hectare, with drip irrigation and fertiliser optimisation; the latter - also known as Olive Groves in Hedge Formation - exceed 1200 olive trees per hectare and can reach up to 2000.

These require a significantly higher investment but allow all operations to be mechanised and from the first harvest - which usually takes place in the third year after planting in both cases - it is possible to harvest more than 5 hectares per day. The average yield from Superintensive Olive Groves varies between 10-12,000 kilos per hectare from the fifth year onwards, while Intensive Olive Groves provide 8,500-10,000 kilos per hectare from the sixth or seventh year of production onwards.

Production Units:

01

PORTUGAL

We grow most of our produce in Portugal, where the olives are happiest: we have 10,000 hectares planted in the regions of Alto and Baixo Alentejo. We manage this production with our feet on solid ground, from Ferreira do Alentejo, Campo Maior, Elvas and Avis. In 2012, we produced more than 50 million kilos of olives, something that fills us with pride.

02

SPAIN

We are also at home in Spain. The estates of Cuadrado, El Barrillo, Sevillano, Huyuelas, Huesar and Benazurera have plantations dating from 2007 and 2009 in the area of Vegas Altas, in the province of Badajoz; in Andalusia, we have had plantations since 2014, with three varieties planted in the hedge-style system, which grow in the heart of the largest growing region in the world.

03

MOROCCO

In Morocco, we have sought the best partnerships for building our relevance and expanding our knowledge. Through Soprolive, in co-ownership with the Moroccan group Somed, we established a base in the country and, in 2015, were distinguished by the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture as the best-integrated project in the olive-growing sector. As a result, we were able to boost progress and differentiation in the country, helping to modernise the sector and establish a supply platform to increase our impact in the United States.