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Temperature in Granada exceeds 46 degrees Celsius
Spain: "If it doesn't rain soon, we'll face severe issues"
The extreme heat wave and the lack of rainfall have raised the concerns for the fruit and vegetable sector in southern Spain, where temperatures have reached 46 degrees Celsius. The climate seems to be changing and the summers are hotter. This year is a record.
"If it doesn't rain soon, this drought could represent a serious problem for our sector ahead of the next campaign," explains Javier Jiménez, manager of SAT Campos de Granada, of Grupo Fulgencio Spa. "The temperatures recorded have been extremely high so far, so water consumption has gone up and reserves are very low. We've already had several years with very low rainfall, and although we have been 'surviving' until now, this year could be decisive for future campaigns," he added.
According to Javier Jiménez, the summer productions are becoming increasingly difficult, both because of the production costs and for the challenge of maintaining the same high quality standards, which is the most important aspect.
"Such radiation rates take a toll on the quality of the products, with unwanted colourations on cherry tomatoes, like orange tones, for example, as well as an acceleration of the production process and, consequently, price falls in the case of Spanish cucumbers, of which we have a plentiful supply."
The impact of these extreme temperatures doesn't just affect the production, but also the growers. "The labourers are forced to leave the fields at around 11:00 in the morning, because it is impossible to work in the greenhouses and they have to return in the afternoon, when the sun is not as strong."
SAT Campos de Granada is one of the largest companies producing Padrón peppers, which are grown all year round, and various types of cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, cultivated under meshes. 70% of what this company produces is intended for export, as well as for some of Spain's most important supermarket chains.
"We produce during the summer to complete the programs with our clients, who wish to work with us all year round. We are increasingly allowed less rest during the summer, as we did years ago, if we want to keep our programs with European supermarket chains, which wish to continue their routines without interruptions, especially in the case of fresh cut products, although many of them also choose to work with Dutch suppliers in summer. We have our own farms in the interior of Granada, where during the day temperatures can be extreme, although at night they are more moderate thanks to the fact that the plantations are located more than 700 metres above sea level."
According to the producer and marketer, the summer campaign, although increasingly complicated by drought and high temperatures, is very important for producers in the interior of Granada, as it generates a lot of employment in areas where they are devoted to other crops during the rest of the year and which stop in the summer season, as is the case of olives and cereals.
For more information:
SAT Campos de Granada
Avda. de las Palmeras,9
Carchuna-Motril, Granada. Spain
T: +34 958623136
M: +34 678649113
Publication date: 7/17/2017
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