Sustainable businesses: 20 keys to transform olive companies

16 Sep, 19 | Commerce and Exports

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In this article, Jesús Ferradás, Consultant and Marketing Trainer at ESIC and speaker at the Higher Program in Business Management for the Olive Sector, tells us what, in his opinion, are the main problems, resistance and opportunities that we face to make the necessary transformation of olive oil companies a reality through a sustainable business model.

- 1 -

It is said, heard and written in abundance about change and its need and in the end we find enormous media noise that overwhelms and confuses the necessary action.


- 2 -

The Competitive Convergence of John Forbes Nash. In all sectors of the economy we have suffered from this convergence and, in the long term, we have all fallen into doing the same equally well or equally badly. The way is the differentiation to be a clear alternative in the market and for the Client.

- 3 -

The need to break blocking codes in the sector by providing an external view:

  • The obsession with the product,
  • Lack of focus on marketing, business training,
  • The excessive prominence of personalism, Individualism, selfishness,
  • The continuous regrets, complaints and justifications,
  • Waiting for things to be fixed from politics.

- 4 -

Strategic alliances are the way to achieve a sustainable value proposition from which its own competitive advantage must derive and it is not a habit in the sector to work on the art of alliance to present surprising value propositions to the market and to the Client.


- 5 -

Business is strategy and in Spanish companies and sectors, day by day there is no room to think about strategy and, I assure you, companies need an entrepreneur and someone who thinks and sets the destination towards which to redirect and focus limited resources.

- 6 -

The strategy is interpreted as a riddle and not as a destination that must be provided with plans to make it happen.

- 7 -

Generate business, do business and manage business,… Are these three pillars clear or are we with more of the same? Companies are loaded with technicians, technocrats and professionals who are bulimic with knowledge, and there is a lack of business people who understand and know how to do business.

- 8 -

Don't get obsessed with technology, get obsessed with people. "Open your mind and look at the people and the world around you because it is really important to be in business." People have the same wants and needs online and offline, and people's personalities remain constant. You can change the format, that is, make it easier for them to communicate or use the photos instead of words, but human needs never change, ”said Caterina Fake, technology entrepreneur, founder of Flickr and Findery.

- 9 -

Any process of change needs root ingredients on which change is based. They are, in my understanding:

  • The need for leadership to carry it forward
  • The real will to change attitudes and
  • The real will to change procedures
Without them in conjunction there is no change. There is enormous resistance to change in the sector.

- 10 -

The rush of the short term and the lack of balance between the short and medium term. Today everything is short term and day by day and without this balance the future is uncertain.

- 11 -

The transformation of the business model usually leads to an internal cultural change. In most SMEs it presupposes a cultural change, from the model of the person to the professionalization of the company. This requires leadership, the will to achieve, the determined involvement of the owner and managers, and no less than three years to achieve it.


- 12 -

Changing the business model means changing the operating system of the company that commands the applications of its activity, administration, sales, marketing, HR. HH., R + D + i, Production, logistics and operations. This is the true transformation. It's a big change. It is about working with Windows 10 or with OS High Sierra. Everything is different.

- 13 -

People are the difference between companies and they are not a resource. They are the most important asset of the company. Also after the Christmas party. Because it seems that businessmen and executives forget it.

- 14 -

Working in the company means working on people, getting to know them, motivating them, developing them and measuring their results. This means working in the company.

- 15 -

The fledgling of looking inward makes us consider development only with what we have and we are not able to create alliances with the environment to present ourselves to the Client with a much more powerful and forceful value proposition, arising from alliances with other interlocutors.

- 16 -

The presence in the market, because the opportunities are outside the company and we dedicate too much time to our internal day-to-day life and very little to be in the Client and if we are not in the Client, we are not in the business.

- 17 -

The obsolete organization model that has nothing to do with the reality of the market. What is may be misplaced. The necessary evolution of the organizational model is another cornerstone to place resources in what works and in our strategic line that marks the vision and strategic objectives and without that harmony, change does not happen either.

- 18 -

Obsession with the product and not with the target customer, is another common paradigm in which many Spanish companies find themselves trapped.

- 19 -

Obsolete distribution channels, which do not add value to the product and the service and which are a brake on the sectoral development suffered by most companies.

- 20 -

Generational change in the sector, which is not worked with due anticipation and ends up taking many companies ahead in the delicate moment of succession. None of these references is the only key, it is only the harmonic combination of all of them and for this you need business intelligence and a willingness to change. In the oil sector "Agri-food distribution and the needs for strategic transformations of the value chain and business models are unavoidable imperatives."

The concept itself of the changing value chain and the necessary business cooperation between producers, industrialists and transformers and distributors are the key to improving the efficiency and productivity of companies in the sector and it has not always been possible.

Our objective in ESAO is to convey to the keys of value, to reach a consensus as a team on the transforming keys of the companies in the sector to focus on the businesses that live off olive oil, learning to add value, to export olive oil and be a strategist as businessmen and executives, either, in national markets as in international markets.

It is time to stop being the pantry of bulk oil, to improvise the brand, to improvise the competition and to blame others for our mistakes. Because it's time to stop assuming that Italians, French, North Africans, Greeks, and even Australians… do better.

We have an obligation to take the reins of our businesses to play headlines in value.


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