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History

01

The beginnings.

The Cooperativa Agraria y Ganadera San Isidro was founded in 1944 by farmers from the Huerta and Vega of Almeria with the primary objective of directly marketing its products in the city’s Food Market.

During its first years CASI focused on the daily selling of vegetables from their partners in the Square’s stall but since it was founded the sale of a significant production of potato cultivated in the Vega of Almeria during the winter period would be of particular relevance, thanks to a mild climate that is still today a comparative advantage over other national and international agricultural enclaves.

The first years.

Potato production would reach such levels that the demand for seeds in the late sixties would hit record numbers, around 300 tonnes, which mostly came from the North of Spain (Navarra, Palencia, Galicia), but also from abroad (Ireland). Simultaneously, and especially since the late fifties, the sanded horticultural crops started to appear in the traditional Vega but particularly in ploughed areas in the arid coastal plain that stretched East of the city.

02

The high productivity of the new cropping systems in sand and its success in the markets meant that CASI’s small sale stall in the Central Market was unable to meet all the demand and this led in the first years of the sixties to the search of makeshift warehouses in which to develop a new sales system, reverse auction, which was so popular at the time.

03

The sixties

The model’s success in the late sixties led to the acquisition of land on which to build its own warehouse in Los Partidores, a place located between the city of Almeria and the neighbourhood of La Cañada de San Urbano, where the facilities of CASI are still located today.

Thus, 1969 was the year when the first store opened in Los Partidores to continue with the auction system that still exists today, only with slight variations affecting the procedures but not the system itself substantially, which is still a reverse auction.

04
05

The seventies

In the seventies the Entity led some interesting developments such as continuing the activities to promote tomato export to the rest of Europe: agreements to take part in the National Company MERCOSA in order to organise the activity of the markets (Alhóndigas), feasibility studies of partnerships through the Unión Nacional de Cooperativas (National Union of Cooperatives) to export tomatoes, obtaining the Exporter license and improvements in product standardisation.

This was all a reflection of the growing strength of the tomato production among the growing number of partners, which consolidated the Entity and defined its policy towards specialisation in this product whose volume would force on two occasions the expansion of the Sales facilities before the end of the decade. The tomato hence became the star product of the Cooperative and rapidly overshadowed the importance of other traditional products such as the potato that would continue to be marketed in the stall in the Central Market.

The eighties

The eighties would mean for CASI the final consolidation of the auction system in origin following an original model that may be considered the house brand: the manufacturing and packaging by the partners in their specific facilities, individual transport and also the auction in the premises of the Entity. A widely-discussed model since then but that time has shown to be ideal in this area due to its added value, flexibility in changing situations and its adaptation to the characteristics of the partners’ farmland.

Measures were adopted during this time to comply with the demands of an increasingly competitive market, and in this sense, it is worth highlighting important actions such as the introduction of new packaging (the 15 kg plane table or 10 kg tray), greater demands in product standardisation and increasing quality controls.

06

Meanwhile, the CASI farmer partners also contributed to this work with improvements in the culture systems (drip irrigation, greenhouses) and new tomato varieties that were more resistant during transportation and homogeneous in relation to its presentation, which altogether led to the synergy between the production activities and marketing to consolidate CASI as one of the largest tomato auctions worldwide.

07

The nineties

The period covering the nineties was full with events since the increasing production rate was also accompanied with the growth of the facilities to host a daily auction that already exceeded one million kilos a day during the high season.

New packaging such as the P6 further adjusted the efforts in standardisation and quality control, and the Entity grew not only in built space, but also in sections of the partner services (technical support, supplies, irrigation, hardware, workshop). The recognition as Fruit and Vegetable Producer Organisation (OPFH) in 1992 was, undoubtedly, of great importance for its internal organisation, which adjusted the operation of the Entity to the criteria of the European Community.

However, also during this decade new challenges emerged that compromised the hegemony of CASI in the market as was the arrival of serious competitors in the production of tomato (Morocco in particular) or serious phytosanitary issues (yellow leaf curl virus in particular); Once again, the production model and marketing of the Cooperativa Agrícola y Ganadera San Isidro had to adapt to the circumstances focusing on quality and the introduction of its products in the market and opting for painstaking agricultural practices.

Recent years – Present time

In recent years, the Cooperativa Agrícola y Ganadera San Isidro has continued to consolidate its position in the sector to become one of the largest marketers of tomato for fresh consumption in the world.

Nevertheless, this hegemony has not been achieved without effort and all those involved in the activity of CASI have contributed with their experience and work to achieve a long list of goals: quality certification, product presentation, adaptation to customer requirements, the search for new markets, loyalty of long standing customers, rationalisation of facilities, mechanisation of the processes, expansion of the useful floor space, increase of the number of employees, improvements regarding resistant varieties, integrated and biological control, new cultural practices, best facilities in the field and many other aspects which, ultimately, translated into always offering the best possible product as befits a tomato specialist such as CASI.

CASI PARTIDORES

A centre that has been expanding year after year to become the great Auction it is today.






  • It is the head office and Auction centre for CASI.

  • The product is classified and standardised directly by the farmer and is sold the same day.

  • It is capable of managing up to 3 million kg of tomatoes per day.

CASI AIRPORT

A new tomato reference space in Almeria.






  • CASI packing station.

  • Adquired in September 2013, it has approximately 44,765 m².

  • One of the most modern production centres in Europe equipped with the latest machinery and technology.

  • It covers market demand in direct marketing and preparation.

CASI SAN ISIDRO

CASI Organic centre






  • It is CASI’s Organic centre since the beginning of the 2015/16 season

  • Engaged in the production of Organic products to meet market demands.

LOGISTICS DEPARTMENT