Invest in agriculture

Agriculture in Spain is a strategic pillar, contributing to 10% of the GDP and employing 2.8 million people.

Additionally, Spain is the fourth-largest exporter of agri-food products in Europe excelling in high-value crops such as olive oil, wine, almonds, and now, pistachios.

The Rise of Pistachio Cultivation in Spain

Since 2012, the hectares dedicated to pistachio cultivation have multiplied by 13, now exceeding 70,000 hectares.

Of the new plantations, 58% are destined to pistachio cultivation. The majority is in Castilla-La Mancha, where Agróptimum is headquartered. This region hosts over 80% of the total pistachio acreage and 8 out of 10 new plantations.

It boasts the highest production in Europe, with its ideal climate and soils making it the perfect location for pistachio cultivation.

While pistachios currently represent 8% of the area dedicated to nuts in Spain, their rapid growth suggests this percentage will significantly increase in the coming years.

Pistachio, a Globally Demanded Product

Pistachios are the second most consumed nut globally, second only to almonds.

Their popularity is driven by numerous health benefits, serving as a significant source of plant-based protein, fiber, unsaturated fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Pistachios contain a superior proportion of essential amino acids compared to other commonly consumed nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts.

The role of pistachios in a healthy lifestyle contributes to reducing the risk of nutrition-related diseases.

During the 2021/2022 campaign, over 871,000 metric tons of pistachios were consumed worldwide. Europe accounted for 30% of this consumption, making it the largest pistachio-consuming region.

In Spain, according to the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC), pistachio consumption doubled in recent years,, rising from 0.179 to 0.324 kg per capita per year. Given that local production is still expanding, a significant portion of these pistachios is imported. In Spain alone, imports exceed 14,000 metric tons, double the amount from five years ago. Most pistachios come from the U.S., representing 67% of global production.

Consumer demand for pistachios is driven by health and nutrition, particularly in Europe, where there's a growing demand for functional foods, clean-labeled products, and plant-based ingredients.

In contrast, in India, one of the world's most populous countries, pistachios have shifted from being a decorative ingredient in sweets to a primary ingredient in the ice cream, bakery, and confectionery industries, also becoming a key element in the luxury gastronomy sector. Additionally, pistachios are gaining ground in the cosmetics industry.

Innovation is Key to Pistachio Profitability

Spain's Mediterranean climate and competitive land prices make it an ideal location for quality crops like pistachios, which thrive in current climatic conditions.

Considering it's one of the longest-lived plants with a broad productivity peak, the continuous increase in pistachio cultivation in Spain is easily explained.

The reason is simple: pistachios offer profitability, and much of this profitability is attributed to innovation. In 2024, Agróptimum plans to inaugurate an R&D laboratory, a pioneering initiative in the agricultural sector.

Equipped with cutting-edge technology, it will consolidate ongoing research, including genetic studies to create the world's best and even more profitable pistachio plant. The plant we currently produce is already the hardiest and earliest in the market, taking half the time to bear fruit compared to other pistachio plants.

Investing in agriculture makes sense; investing in pistachios makes even more sense.