Spain has about 50 major companies that are importing or formulating solutions for growers, says Ana Santillana, Associate Director of Regulatory and Business Development at Dextra International.
Those manufacturers offer their products through traditional distributors and cooperatives. Both distributors and cooperatives deliver their products to retailers, who sell to the growers. In some cases the distributors also sell directly to growers, bypassing the retail element.
Distributors then send to cooperatives. These cooperatives comprise large groups of growers (first degree) and associations of other smaller cooperatives (second degree) to concentrate their purchasing power for agricultural inputs. These cooperatives often act as agronomist advisors to the growers.
In Spain there are hundreds of distributors. There is even an association that consolidates around 500 distributors, representing about 80% of the market.
Crop protection companies can have anywhere from 30 to 500 distributors.
“The distribution is not centralized,” says David de Boet Pérez-Portabella, Associate Director-Mergers and Acquisitions at Dextra International. “We don’t have big national distribution players that can cover the whole market and geography. You have to go through the small regional and local channels in order to have a full coverage of the market and be successful on the display.”
One challenge for manufacturers, particularly for newer technologies, is finding the right distributor, says Carlos Ledó Orriach, CEO and Director General of IDAI Nature.
“They were (comfortable) selling chemical products. They had to learn about these kinds of products,” he says. “Traditional chemicals are applied when the insects are there. With these products they are applied in a preventative way. They understood. Biologicals are applied proactively.”