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Coexphal
Web Official website
Address Ctra. de Ronda 11 - 1º. 04004 Almería
State Spain

COEXPHAL is the Association of Fruit and Vegetable Producers of Almería (Southeast Spain), the majority of the members being small holding agricultural cooperatives who jointly market their product. It was created in 1977 as an association of 17 cooperatives to provide common services and to obtain much needed market power and recognition. Currently, it includes over 100 cooperatives. COEXPHAL represent 65% of exports and 70% of F&V production in Almería, with a production of 2 million tons, a turnover of over 1.6 billion Euros, 8,100 farmer members and 20,800 ha. under cultivation giving work to 35,000 workers.The COEXPHAL group provides a wide range of services to members (see www.coexphal.es for a services and activities and http://almeriaenverde.es for current topics and information).

COEXPHAL´s role has changed significantly over the years. While its first task was to gain European market access for its cooperatives (today their products reach 43 countries), COEXPHAL members have had to make innovative changes to production processes, product selection and packaging, passing from bulk sales (and low prices) to consumer ready product, allowing direct sales to supermarket chains. This value added remains in Almería territory and is redistributed to the members of the producer cooperatives. Some of the most important actions COEXPHAL has taken to add value for members are as follows: Sustainable Agriculture (Biological Control and integrated production as an alternative to pesticides); Food Safety and Quality Certification at the highest EU standard for 100% of its members; Coordination of its cooperatives to qualify as a Producer Organisation under EU Regulations and promoting EU Organisational Integration.

In light of this, the EU Coop Campus project is an important initiative for COEXPHAL as it is evident that cooperative managers must not only understand the uniquely cooperative business model, but also leverage such cooperative characteristics and the strengths of their members and local economy to gain competitive advantage in an increasingly globalised and liberalized marketplace. COEXPHAL´s role in EU Coop Campus will be to give a clear picture of the necessary cooperative competences in the agricultural cooperative sector and to identify the necessities and challenges in training cooperative managers that can function on a European level within the agri-food global competition. A key issue is the challenge of managing cooperative growth and integration, an inevitable process for European agricultural cooperatives, without losing their cooperative “DNA”. COEXPHAL will be involved in data collection, analysis, preparation of materials and the testing of pilot programs “on the ground” within the cooperative sector.