For García Carrión, sustainability has three dimensions in which as a group we have made a difference: environment, economy and society.

The food and drink sector is the leading industrial sector in Spain. With 2.6% of the national GDP and 15% of the industrial sector, this sector represents an important part of the Spanish economy, bringing together more than 30,000 companies with a turnover of more than 125,000 million euros in 2020 and more than half a million employees in Spain.

In European terms, it is also a key sector in terms of business volume and employability. It is made up of almost 300,000 companies, which far exceed a trillion euros in turnover and employ almost 5 million people. For this reason, due to its important specific economy share, the food industry plays a very prominent role in the European objectives to guarantee a sustainable economy in environmental and socio-economic development aspects.

DON SIMON, an international benchmark

Don Simón, a unique, innovative and pioneering plant on an international level, surrounded by millions of orange trees in a privileged area of Andalusia: Huelva. To obtain the best juice, it is essential that the oranges are picked at their optimum time of ripeness and, most importantly, squeezing the oranges just after they have been picked from the tree.

We have long-term agreements with more than 40,000 fruit-growers. At our plant in Huelva, we are committed to organic growing as well as a firm commitment to the environment. Fruit free from pesticides. This is our Huelva plant, where quality and technological advancements that define not only this plant, but the entire Don Simón brand: an international benchmark for how a family business has managed to sell millions of litres of Spanish juice throughout the whole world.

GARCÍA CARRIÓN, recognised in the European Environmental Awards

The Huelva plant stands out as the most pioneering in the world for its technological and sustainable development.

GARCIA CARRION is a family business that is committed to Spanish agriculture, closely collaborating with over 40,000 producers and with a great environmental ambition based on its 3 objectives:

Thanks to the millions of orange trees that surround the plant, the CO2 in the atmosphere is reduced, equivalent to the emissions from 1 million cars in a day.

At the Huelva plant, 100% of the water consumption is used to irrigate the orange trees.

Orange peels are transformed into animal food, essential oils and even a wonderful perfume.

This circular economy project received an award from over 115 applications, with the process standing out in its category for its quality and positive contribution to the planet.

1890 – Origins after an important environmental problem 

The group was established at a critical moment for the wine sector: the phylloxera plague had invaded and destroyed a large part of the vine crops across the European continent. This was disastrous for the supply of European wine, the main wine-growing region in the world.

In Jumilla, José García Carrión’s great-grandfather built a winery that could cope with the imports that, mainly from France, were in demand from the foreign market to mitigate the losses. The building of that winery was the starting point of what is today the leading winery in Europe and fourth in the world.

1980 –Launch of first wine in Brik carton format in the world

Disruptive innovation across all fields: business model, product and service. A change in model to be able to offer the customer packaging that, by then, significantly improved the preservation of the quality and safety of the product, facilitated the purchase and consumption by being lighter and more practical and at the same time, due to its lower weight and shape, decreased all energy consumption ratios in manufacturing and transportation. With this, a reduction in CO2 emissions to less than half was achieved. Finally, all these benefits were at the same time transferred to the customer with a lower purchase price.

Since then, others have followed us and 40 years later, the carton as packaging for wine, fruit juices and other products continues to grow and is considered one of the best solutions in terms of sustainability.

Milestones of a continuous commitment to innovation, quality and sustainability

Commitment to organic and local agriculture

Since the 1990s, Don Simon has been strategically committed to producing freshly squeezed orange juice in Spain. Until then, multinationals such as Danone or Coca Cola sold their nectar drinks and concentrates from Brazil and Florida on a large scale and there was significant misinformation about the origin and quality of the different products available on the market.

The family understands that freshly squeezed juice is a high quality product and that in a country like Spain, with an important tradition in the cultivation of citrus fruits, it was possible to produce it on a large scale.

Increasing consumer awareness of the different categories and origins of juices has allowed García Carrión to exponentially increase its sales of fruit juices and launch one of its star projects: the Don Simon plant in Huelva, surrounded by its own farmland of 2,300 hectares that has millions of orange trees. The best fields, organic growing processes and the use of the latest processing technology.

This, together with the collaboration of more than 40,000 producers both for the juices and wines, is a clear example of the group’s commitment to local agriculture.

Do you know how to recycle a #DONSIMON mini-brik carton?

Put the straw inside the carton and throw it into the plastic-recycling container. It’s that easy! #EnjoyWithDONSIMON

The GARCIA CARRION family business has always been a pioneer in the search and use of new sustainable alternatives for the packaging of our products.

  • Packaging that ensures the quality and safety of our products.
  • Packaging with a low carbon footprint.
  • Packaging that is 100% recyclable.
  • Packaging that allows for the use of recycled and/or plant-based materials.

One of the main objectives is to reduce the use of plastic and increase its recyclability as much as possible by 2025. Therefore, becoming part of the European Plastic Pact, the European branch of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Global Plastic Pact, is essential.

This global initiative, supported by governments, NGOs and other public, private and social organisations, aims to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy in the field of plastics, eliminate plastic waste in the environment, reduce its unnecessary use and promote its circularity with the use of recyclable and recycled materials.

The most sustainable bottle for drinking juice

New packaging made from 100% recycled and 100% recyclable rPET plastic with a lower CO2 footprint

  • 100% use of recycled rPET plastic.
  • 100% recyclable.
  • Reduction of CO2 emissions by 80%.
  • For every million units:
    • Savings of 18,000 kg of virgin plastic.
    • Reduction of 30,000kg of CO2.
  • Eco-Cap, no pigments, 100% recyclable.

Benchmark eco-design within the sector: 100% recyclable bottle, cap and label

  • Mono-material packaging elements to increase recyclability to 100%.
  • Elimination of colour pigments, anticipating future eco-design and eco-modulation standards to achieve better packaging recycling.

⬇️Swipe to see the evolution of the most sustainable packaging ⬇️

Before Image After Image

Stretch sleeves with a low carbon footprint

We were pioneers in the use of stretch sleeves for our PET and glass bottles compared to the shrink sleeves that were leading the market. With this change, we reduced to more than half not only the energy used during its connection to the bottle, thus reducing the carbon footprint, but it also meant significant savings in the use of material, reaching in some cases reductions of up to 100%.

Clear caps and clear labels

Black caps and packaging pose a challenge to the recycling value chain: recycling facilities use infrared technology (NIR) to identify plastic materials to be recycled. Optical sensors use the reflection of light to detect material and classify it accordingly. However, these optical sensors cannot properly identify or classify black plastic packaging, seriously hampering the recycling of the same.

Elimination of colouring pigments from coloured caps allows for:

  • Reduced CO2 emissions (associated with the cap’s production process).
  • Water consumption reduced to 0 (associated with the manufacture of pigments).
  • Increased number of times the cap can be recycled because colours are not mixed.
  • Less thermal degradation of the cap during the recycling process.
  • 100% recyclability of the cap. Important improvement in the case of black caps.

On the other hand, with the use of 100% recyclable transparent labels, we are able to increase the number of times that these can be recycled. In addition, by not using pigments, the carbon footprint during its manufacture is significantly reduced.

Brik packaging with kraft paper

Pioneers in the launch of sustainable brik packaging with kraft paper: lighter and with a lower CO2 footprint2

A 100% recyclable, natural cardboard carton, which contains more than 60% plant-based materials and with which it has been possible to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 50% compared to market standards.

By eliminating the outer plastic laminate and the surface whitening treatment of the carton, a more sustainable packaging is achieved, not only with a lower carbon footprint but that is also lighter.

In addition, our cartons have the FSC certification that certifies that the wood with which the product is made comes from sustainably managed forests.

Lighter packaging

Jaume Serra cava bottle: the lightest in the world and our wine bottles are the lightest on the market

Our Jaume Serra cavas are pioneers in their production and design. The glass bottles they use have a low environmental impact. Their weight has been reduced to 800 grams, 12% lighter compared to the rest of the market, reducing the use of 4 million kilos a year and avoiding 2 million kilos of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

Thanks to this milestone, García Carrión has the lightest glass bottle for cava on the market, a value proposition for the customer to which a traditionally-made product of the highest quality is added, all with the highest possible efficiency.

In addition to cava bottles, the group has the lightest glass wine bottles on the market, always looking for the best balance between aesthetics and environmental impact.

Packaging of the future

Development of a biodegradable and compostable plant-based bottle, made from our orange peels.

This is our most ambitious project and therefore requires significant R+D+i efforts that will last several years but from which we have already been able to produce the first bottles, with very positive results.

Once we are able to take the process to an industrial scale, we will be the first in the world to offer packaging that is 100% made from the plant remains of the orange.

100% squeezed orange juice, once again protected 100% by “orange peel”, but now in bottle form.

Circular Economy:
Don Simon’s 3 Zeros Project

The Don Simon plant in Huelva had, from its initial design, a three-fold environmental objective: the 3 Zeros.

This is our Huelva plant, quality and technological advancements that define not only this plant, but the entire Don Simón brand: an international benchmark of how a family business has managed to sell millions of litres of Spanish juice throughout the whole world.

In Huelva we squeeze the freshly picked oranges one by one, in less than 24 hours so that none of their properties are lost. In addition to the 2,300 hectares of our own orange plantations, at Don Simón we have long-term contracts with fruit-growers in the area that guarantee the reliability and quality of the raw material.

The plant has the capacity to process more than 2,000 tons of fruit per day, squeeze it and store it, out with the citrus fruit season, in 12 aseptic tanks of 4 million litres each, at 4 degrees of temperature, which allows all the properties of the fruit juice to be fully preserved. The plant also has 5 aseptic packaging lines with speeds of up to 24,000 containers per hour and has a refrigerated and automated warehouse with 14,000 pallets.

Huelva

This Don Simón plant is unique, innovative and pioneering on an international level, surrounded by millions of orange trees in a privileged area of Andalusia: Huelva.

To obtain the best juice, it is essential that the oranges are picked at their optimum time of ripeness and, most importantly, squeezing the oranges just after they have been picked from the tree. We have long-term agreements with more than 40,000 fruit-growers.

At our plant in Huelva we are committed to organic growing as well as a firm commitment to the environment. Fruit free from pesticides.

This is our Huelva plant, quality and technological advancements that define not only this plant, but the entire Don Simón brand: an international benchmark of how a family business has managed to sell millions of litres of Spanish juice throughout the whole world.

In Huelva we squeeze the freshly picked oranges one by one, in less than 24 hours so that none of their properties are lost. In addition to the 2,300 hectares of our own orange plantations, at Don Simón we have long-term contracts with fruit-growers in the area that guarantee the reliability and quality of the raw material.

The plant has the capacity to process more than 2,000 tons of fruit per day, squeeze it and store it, out with the citrus fruit season, in 12 aseptic tanks of 4 million litres each, at 4 degrees of temperature, which allows all the properties of the fruit juice to be fully preserved. The plant also has 5 aseptic packaging lines with speeds of up to 24,000 containers per hour and has a refrigerated and automated warehouse with 14,000 pallets.

Zero waste

We transform the orange peel into animal food, renewable energy, essential oils, biomaterials and a wonderful perfume. This is a clear example of how a circular economy is possible and profitable, since from the sale of the recovered waste we manage not only to offset our industrial costs of fruit juice production, but we even obtain a profit of more than €10 per ton of squeezed orange.

Zero contaminating emissions

With our trees we reduce CO2 emissions equivalent to that of over 36,000 cars during a month. In addition, by using bioenergy in the form of biomass and biogas from our organic waste, we are able to reduce the plant’s natural gas consumption by up to 40%.

Zero net water consumption

We reuse 100% of the water we use for the irrigation of our orange trees. Our juicing equipment cleaning processes use an innovative water management and purification system. This, together with the use of environmentally friendly products such as potash, allows us not only to be able to reuse this water, but at the same time, enrich it with the necessary nutrients to later provide the necessary nutrients for our orange trees. Nothing is wasted, everything is used.

Recycling of self-adhesive labels, an example of circular economy

The recycling of glassine silicone paper that is used in self-adhesive bottle and carton labels represents a great challenge for the food and drink industry.

Glassine is a difficult material to recycle. Although it appears to be paper, it is actually a material made up of a thin layer of paper and a thin layer of silicone. The composition of these two materials makes recycling difficult and unprofitable. In Spain alone, each year more than 20,000,000kg of this waste is sent to landfill.

To solve this problem, at GARICA CARRION we have created a circular economy ecosystem to recycle glassine waste from all our self-adhesive labels. In this way, we manage not only to avoid hundreds of tons of waste potentially ending up in a landfill, but also its reuse through recycling.

Proceso que tiene lugar

GARCIA CARRION and Renewable Energies, the importance of the use of Bioenergy

Production and self-consumption of Biomass and Biogas

GARCIA CARRION has always promoted the development of new technologies within the sector, aiming to produce sustainable, quality products that are accessible to the vast majority of consumers.

For more than 15 years, the use of bioenergy has been one of the most important renewable energy sources for García Carrión, something which has led us to be one of the benchmarks for this within the sector.

GARCIA CARRION has managed to cover 25% of its energy needs during 2020 with the production and self-consumption of bioenergy in the form of biogas and biomass.

This green energy, in addition to reducing CO2 emissions, generates an added value on waste that would not otherwise be used or would even be a potential problem for the environment.

With this, it has been possible to transform more than 20,000 tons of biomass and biogas into thermal energy, thus replacing the use of natural gas from fossil fuels and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 16,000,000kg per year.

In addition, during the production of biogas by anaerobic digestion, more than 1 million cubic metres of water have been purified with organic material from the cleaning processes of industrial facilities.

GARCIA CARRION, a family business committed to the Decade of Action on Water

As part of our sustainability strategy, we are firmly committed to the responsible use of water in all our centres. We are part of Stepbywater, the UN Alliance in Spain for the United Nations Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”. This alliance is supported by the Spanish Government and the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP), with the involvement of the private sector, third sector and civil society.

In this alliance, two key initiatives in sustainability and responsible water management are brought together under the same umbrella: the 2030 SDG Agenda and the Decade for Action on Water. We share this vision and our commitment to sustainable water consumption is firm, developing and implementing the best practices and technologies available in this field. In addition, we believe that for the impact to be global, it is key to promote joint strategic actions both at a business and government al level.

Care of and positive impact on Biodiversity

Within our Don Simon plant in Huelva we have a 250-hectare nature reserve to respect the natural habitat of the bustard, a steppe bird that is currently in danger of extinction.

Social Commitment

García Carrión’s sustainability strategy is aligned with the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Analysing the SDGs, they all have their basis in health: people’s health and the “health” of the planet, and collaboration between the different members of society is the means for their achievement. We are clear that sustainability is synonymous with health and as one of our slogans indicates, at Don Simon:

Leaders in the sector not only because of what we do but also why we do it, we will continue to develop high quality products always putting the use of raw materials from local sustainable agriculture first. In the production of our products, the use of renewable energies such as bioenergy, respect for biodiversity, the creation of stable employment and the use of natural resources in a responsible way, are undoubtedly our fundamental pillars in the collaboration to achieve a better future.

An example of good practice in sustainability is our Don Simon 3 Zeros Objective: zero waste without costs, zero contaminating emissions and zero net consumption of water. Sustainability in its three dimensions: environmental, economic and social. The environmental: being respectful with the environment and even generating a positive impact on it. The economic: being profitable even before selling our juices by income obtained from the recovery of our by-products. And finally, the social: creating technical, stable and quality employment opportunities in rural areas that have a high rate of depopulation.

Finally, with a focus on SDG 17 – partnerships to achieve the objectives – García Carrión collaborates with numerous national and international organisations to share good practices, learn from each other and achieve progress in sustainability matters.

Examples of these partnerships are our participation in the creation of the first major Spanish alliance for the UN’s Decade for Action on Water; or our recent joining and commitment to the European branch of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact Network. The latter is the largest public-private initiative in the world in search of a circular economy for the responsible use of plastic in packaging.

Among the 17 SDGs, there are 10 in which our company has a direct and transversal impact:

GARCIA CARRION donates 2.5 million cartons of fruit juice to the Spanish Federation of Food Banks

One of the fundamental objectives of the family business, which this year celebrates 130 years of history, is to help and cover the basic needs of those families most in need throughout the country.

That is why GARCIA CARRION, as part of its social action and solidarity projects, has over the last two years donated half a million litres of fruit juice and other foods to the Spanish Federation of Food Banks.

For yet another year, GARCIA CARRRION reaffirms its commitment to collaboration and solidarity with the Spanish population, a contribution that seeks equal opportunities and access to basic food in every home.

In addition during 2020, in the context of an even more difficult situation caused by the COVID-19 health crisis, GARCIA CARRION also did its bit by donating 100,000 litres of DON SIMON solidarity lemonade to hospitals and nursing homes both in Spain and abroad.

Spain is an exemplary country in terms of citizen cooperation and assistance, characteristics that also define GARCIA CARRION, a family business founded in 1890 where solidarity is one of its core principles.

J. GARCIA CARRION FOUNDATION

1980 SOCIAL COMMITMENT
ESTABLISHMENT OF GARCIA CARRION FOUNDATION

The García Carrión Foundation was established in 1980 as a non-profit association and its corporate purpose is to promote stable employment for people with disabilities, providing them with complete care in order to achieve the highest levels of integration, acceptance and guidance.

We are very proud of the work of the people who are part of the Foundation. Currently there are more than 60 people with disabilities who, thanks to our employment inclusion programme, are just another part of our company.