By Julie Butler
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona
Spain’s giant Hojiblanca Cooperative Group – already the world’s biggest producer of extra virgin olive oil – has been renamed Dcoop after its merger with Tierras Altas, a Granada-based group of 15 olive oil mills.
The name change came today after the merger was approved at general meetings of the companies’ members.
Dcoop represents “de la cooperativa,” which in English is “from the cooperative.”
The new name comes just months after Hojiblanca sold the world’s biggest olive oil distributor, Deoleo, its Hojiblanca extra virgin olive oil brand and a bottling plant in return for an increased stake in that company and two seats on its board.
Expansion planned in ares including grain
Dcoop president José Moreno said that apart from being a production leader in olive oil and table olives, Dcoop’s interests will include livestock, grain and wine.
“We decided to change the name to cover more territory and more activities as we work for a better future,” he said.
Moreno, an economist and farmer, had been president of Hojiblanca since 2000. Hojiblanca general manager Antonio Luque will continue in the same role with Dcoop, which has kept the same headquarters in Antequera, Málaga.
On its new website, Dcoop says it starts life as a cooperative uniting more than 60,000 farmers and ranchers from southern Spain, combined annual production of more than 67,000 tons of table olives, and more than 250,000 tons of virgin olive oil. It says the latter is equivalent to the entire production of Greece and beats that of Tunisia.
“Dcoop is the biggest agri-food cooperative in Andalusia and third in Spain in terms of turnover, averaging €600 million ($811m),” it says.
This article was last updated October 1, 2013 - 2:19 PM (GMT-4)