A group of 650 Andalusian growers is promising lower costs to supermarket customers after forming one of Europe's largest fresh produce co-operatives.

The Unica Group, which will produce 140 million kg of fruit and veg per year with a turnover of €145m, will begin trading in September. Its growers produce tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, courgettes, watermelons, aubergines, melons and beans.

The group was formed following the amalgamation of four Almerian co-ops. Some 8% of its volume will initially go to the UK, although a spokesman said that it planned to "substantially increase" that. Unica would use economies of scale to increase productivity and reduce costs, said president José Martinez Portero.

Growers are currently in the process of switching all their production to natural pest-control systems to reduce pesticide usage.