Since 1967, at the south of La Palma are located the Fuencaliente’s Salt Pans (World Biosphere Reserve) in a space where the mix of black and white joins to give life, in a place created by the magic of nature and the effort of the human hands.
The mud melts with the stone to hold on the crystalline water of the Atlantic Ocean, where appear little thick drops of salt. That’s how appear the mazes of stones, where are located little mountains of salt, between the crystallizers.
From grandparents to grandchildren, we continue with the artisan work of extraction of sea salt. We still keep the original trademark Sal Marina TENEGUÍA, as a tribute to the last eruption happened in the island. Tenguía’s volcano splashed this story with its ash, leading to the stop of the salt works for a year. However, the old and desired dream of their founders was never interrupted.
The salt complex constitutes a reference point into the landscape visits of the island. The salt shines all day long, not just for the sun and the heat of the young land but for the sunset, the moment when the lighthouses wake up and light up the south of La Palma.
What is currently the main activity of the enterprise?
Our traditional activity is the production, packaging and commercialization of sea salt. Since 2013, opens its doors the Theme Restaurant El Jardín de la Sal, inside the salt pans. It not just expects to offer a restoration service with a clear bet for the local product but also it develops a spreading and promotional labour of the traditional salt activity, and its entire natural, culture, touristic and ethnographic values.
Why is interesting to the business development to investigate foreign markets?
Nowadays is called reverse export or agrotourism, the best choice from our point of view when you want to internationalize.
The opening of our installations to the tourists, with audio-guided visits and the theme restaurant El Jardín de la Sal has allowed us to capitalize our product, since it has become in one of the main souvenir products of the island which is never missed in their travel bags.
What projects are currently making abroad? Which countries and why?
We mainly keep reinforcing our contact with German customers. Some of them have been working for more than 25 years with us.
At present, we work in our packages and products adapted to the tourism, with that clear bet for the “reverse export” that is giving us great results.
We have exported to Germany and Austria. Nowadays, we are focused in Germany, where we have a very important portfolio with well-established customers.
What products or services do you think that are the most interesting for the internationalisation?
Mostly the gourmet sector is the one that has greater acceptance, flower of salt and flavoured salt. However, all product range is available to internationalize.
What problems have you had when you go abroad? How could resolve them? Have you received support?
Maybe the most difficult problem has been the linguistic one because it slows down a negotiation. Once we looked for a solution to this problem, we didn’t have so many problems. It is important to remember the fact that we have established customers and this allow us a correct organisation in logistics and other procedures.
Has been easy to operate abroad? How did your experience begin?
It began with the opening of our salt production to the tourism. We realised that the visitants showed so much interest to the productive process that is very traditional and in our product. Most of our German customers have known us after being tourists in La Palma.
Why do you recommend go abroad?
The international appreciation of our product has allowed us that it had more recognition in local market. We are so grateful to this local market which we belong so much.
Nothing ventures, nothing gained! At first, everything is so slow, it seems that everything is problematic, bureaucracy and objections but with some experiences it becomes something a routine.
Andrés F. Hernández García
CEO of Salinas Marinas de Fuencaliente S.L.
Tel: 0034 922 411 523/ 0034 922 696 002