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Interview with Alberto Figueroa: "Maceflor has been present at Iberflora since its first edition, for us it is the meeting point of the whole sector"

Visit Maceflor siempre es especial, pues se trata de una empresa cuya historia ha ido ligada a la de Iberflora, contando con su presencia desde su primera edición en 1972 y habiendo visto su crecimiento y evolución hasta convertirse en una empresa líder como proveedora de macetas, containers, cubetas y otros productos para el cultivo de la planta ornamental y para los centros de jardinería.

Nos recibe Alberto Figueroa, director general de la firma, that, con una gran sonrisa, nos muestra las instalaciones de la empresa, que cuenta hoy en día con unos almacenes de más de 15.000 M2. Moreover, no hemos dejado pasar la oportunidad de tener una agradable conversación con él.

Maceflor ha estado presente en Iberflora desde 1972, primera edición del certamen. Looking back a bit, How do you value being back in the house of the green sector in an edition as special as your 50 anniversary?

As you say, from the first edition, Maceflor, has been present every year. For us it is very important to be supporting this type of contests, since we think that the fairs, and more Iberflora, is the meeting point of the entire green sector, where we comment, See you, and we can kick off a new campaign. This year, if possible, between the "obligated parent" and the 50 anniversary, we take it with much more desire. I think, over time, among all, we get Iberflora to last over time, being the reference fair of the sector in Spain.

What news can we find at your stand?

For us this year comes loaded with news. If we focus on the division of Garden Centers, we present the new exclusive distribution of the German firm Lechuza, apart from all the novelties of the collaboration we have for many years with IDEL. New PLASTECNIC lines, GEKA, etc ...

Regarding the nursery production line, we took two new models out of our CMC container, having in the range the CMC of 4, 5, 6 and 10 liters. and also a new container whose main feature is advanced root control (CRA), a commitment of our R & D department that we hope will be liked by all Nurseries.

They started as a company specializing in pots and containers for the producer, but a few years ago they decided to make the leap to the Garden Channel, in which today they have an important presence. What motivated you to take that leap??

We have always been working on the Garden channel, for many years we have been distributing the IDEL brand, we also distributed Plastecnic, what happens is that over a long period of time we focus more on our Nursery Product Line,.But it is true that in recent years, with the new distributions of LECHUZA, GEKA, HAWITA, and PLASTECNIC, part of the aforementioned IDEL, we are promoting this type of channel much more, to put Maceflor at the point it deserves in garden centers.

In addition to pots for the producer and for the garden center, Maceflor distributes today other auxiliary products such as meshes, irrigation systems, substrates and Bamboo. When and why did you decide that your thing wasn't just pots??

Maceflor has been distributing more products for horticulture to part of the pots for a decade or so., although it is true that it has been strengthened much more in recent years, having an important weight in the annual sales turnover the distribution of Bamboo, Anti-eminant Mesh, tags, Fasteners, etc.. we decided to promote these auxiliary products due to the demand of our customers, and to be able to give them a global service of the products they required.

Recently Maceflor obtained the exclusive distribution of the lechuza brand catalog in Spain and Portugal, in addition to distributing other leading brands such as IDeL, Geka, Hawita, Pastecnic, etc.. What are the company's next challenges??

The next challenges of the company in the Garden line, are to stabilize the sales of the distributions of the new firms, and enhance the Garden channel with new sellers specialized in the sector. We believe that we have great growth potential in this line of business. While in the Nursery Line, we will continue betting on the creation of new models of pots, in addition to establishing and expanding the product portfolio, without neglecting our flagship, the pot.

Maceflor has always been characterized as a dynamic and involved company, always looking for synergies and supporting the association between professionals. What is your current vision of the sector in Spain??

As you say, in Maceflor, we are a company involved in seeking synergies and seeking constant support among all, since we think that union makes strength and with the support of all we will achieve what we propose. Faced with the difficulties that we can find, the only solution is to group together and for this our doors are always open for any type of solution that can improve our sector both nationally., as international.

Finally, and in relation to the difficult situation that the world has gone through in the last year and a half. What did the pandemic mean for Maceflor and what were his feelings at the end of last season??

I believe that we can divide the Pandemic into three different stages.. The first, when we are forced to be confined at home, promoting teleworking, that first month and a half we find ourselves in a novel situation, a situation of uncertainty in which no one could venture to predict the future. Our sector was in a complicated situation, since we were at the beginning of the campaign, with the warehouses full and the doors were closed to us to be able to take out the product.

The second stage, when we see ourselves at the moment when it seems that everything starts to work, we start to get product, but cautiously. And a third in which a change in the behavior of the final consumer is detected, that drags the demand for product so it leads to significant increases in sales, recovering possible losses from the first two stages.

Now, we are in a good time, where we believe that the consumer in a higher percentage has become accustomed to living differently, keeping your home as comfortable as possible so we look forward to a good few years to come.