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David Franco, of G. Paloma: "We are betting on the red varieties"
Great varietal conversion to build reputation in pomegranate marketIn less than three weeks, and about ten days ahead of last year, the pomegranate campaign will start for the Murcia-based company Grupo Paloma, with good yields, quality and calibres, given that the climatic conditions have been very favourable for this crop. This family's bet on pomegranates is exponential and its new varietal program is already yielding its first fruits.
"Unlike many other Spanish companies, which opt for the local Mollar variety, we focus on red varieties, such as the Wonderful, intended for the export market. We are also involved in the development of new varieties, looking to maintain the same colour, but improving the taste attributes, more characteristic of traditional varieties like the Mollar, with very positive results," explains David Franco, who recently joined Grupo Paloma's commercial team.
Although this firm has been producing and marketing pomegranates for many years, it has recently undergone a great varietal conversion, so between 70 and 80% of the crops are very young.
"Due to the conversion, our production evidently decreased in previous years, but this year we will see our pomegranate production grow by around 25%, and we expect a similar increase in the coming campaigns, considering that pomegranates take about 4 years to reach their productive peak. At the same time, the volume increase this year has been met with a very positive response from our customers, who assure that the product's sales are getting better, so they are expanding their programs with us."
The fact, according to David Franco, is that the popularity of this fruit has increased enormously in the last 3 years, both because of its health benefits, being one of the fruits with the most antioxidants, and because of the versatility of its consumption, as it can be eaten fresh or processed.
Grupo Paloma controls 100% of its production, with no contracts or subcontracts with third parties, and 90% of its production and sales are programmed with supermarkets, although they are also open to finding small niches to supply premium fruit within the traditional free market. "I think we can offer added-value pomegranates thanks to the new varieties planted in the premium category," affirms the exporter.
Although they export to many countries in northern and central Europe, the most important markets for this company in terms of volume are the United Kingdom and Germany. "We have high hopes for this product, and thanks to our great investment in varieties, we hope to develop a good reputation in the pomegranate market with our Paloma brand."
Grupo Paloma finished its stonefruit campaign in June and is now in the middle of the table grape campaign, with good volumes thanks to the fact that the weather has been especially benign. In mid-September it will start with the tomato campaign, one of the most important for the company.
Publication date: 8/17/2017
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