The principal activity of Incarlopsa, an inter-supplier of Mercadona for over 20 years, is the production and preparation of fresh and cured white and Iberian pork products, cooked Frankfurter sausages and Iberian sausages. Twenty years working in harmony, improving together, growing, taking care, researching and developing products for Mercadona’s shelves in order to meet the expectations of Mercadona´s “bosses”, or customers; placing food safety and quality above all else.
Hams, sausages… What pork products does Incarlopsa market?
Our pig slaughterhouses in Tarancon (Cuenca) and Mercavalencia supply Mercadona’s inter-supplier of fresh meat, Martínez Loriente, with an entire range of fresh pork. We sell the chain Serrano ham in joint format, rump ham for display cases, and sliced and diced ham. Our range of Iberian products includes joints and sliced ham and shoulder of ham and Iberian sausages. Another product we supply is cooked sausages, consisting of 14 different items.
Practically all your production goes to Mercadona… What values have led to you gaining the trust of this chain?
First and foremost, food safety and quality; we work on a daily basis and convey the importance of these values to the entire value chain, from the origin, the livestock farmers, to everyone involved in the different manufacturing processes. This year we are going to ensure the entire organisation is even more aware of the importance of defining quality based on what consumers expect of our products and of guaranteeing that quality every single day. All of our products can be improved, in accordance with their respective characteristics, and all of our departments are going to be working hard to achieve this.
Would quality at the best possible price be the reason for which your products have been accepted by consumers?
That is what we strive for; the best solution for Mercadona´s customers. If we take the previous answer as a basis and add the price variable, we could say yes, a safe product with high standards of quality sold at a competitive price is what Mercadona´s “bosses” are looking for on a daily basis.
In brief, we strive to ensure the purchase meets the expectations with regard to what a consumer has paid and that it is sustainable over time, with no surprises. If customers like a certain product, we need to ensure it is always the same.
Incarlopsa has the largest ham dryer in the world… What other significant infrastructure do you have?
We have five production plants, one of which is the dryer located in Corral de Almaguer (Toledo) with a production capacity of 4,500,000 units, which we will need to expand next year due to the fact our capacity has reached the limit. We have another dryer in Olias del Rey (Toledo), with a capacity of 1,500,000 units, at which we cure all our joints of Iberian ham and shoulder. In addition, we have a sausage plant, a pig slaughterhouse and a ham and shoulder slicing plant, all of which are located in Tarancon, in addition to an Iberian sausage plant in Guijuelo (Salamanca).
Is keeping up with the growth of Mercadona a challenge? How is Incarlopsa working with a view to the future?
It is becoming increasingly important for us to be vertically integrated. Our pig farming partnership with Copiso will enable us to improve the quality of our raw material. In addition, we will be bringing livestock closer to slaughterhouses, thereby increasing the amount of supplies and reducing costs.
Being focused on a day-to-day basis and rethinking all our processes in order to ascertain where we can improve. There are times when you have been doing something for so long that you don´t ask yourself whether or not it can be improved. Our obligation to improve on a continuous basis will make us reflect on everything we do, even things we believe are absolutely perfect.
The promotion of R&D&I. Research in the improvement of scientific processes, the genetic enhancement of white and Iberian pigs, making healthier products, seeking out solutions to meet the needs of Mercadona customers.
Raising the awareness of our entire workforce with regard to always doing things well; we mustn´t lose our consumers´ trust due to failing to do routine work well, and as such we will allocate the necessary resources to training, values and teamwork.
– Interview published in El Pais and Cinco Días on 28-06-2016