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Spain: Calanda peaches not affected by stone fruit crisis
The volume of the Calanda peach harvest with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) will be similar to last year's if the weather conditions remain stable until early November, when the campaign will come to an end. In 2016, the PDO certified 3.5 million kilos of peaches and this year's figure is likely to be the same. The 2017 campaign has started earlier because of "the warm and dry spring and summer;" a circumstance that will not take a toll on the product's characteristics. "The quality is expected to be very good, with sweet and hard fruits," points out the president of the Regulatory Council of the PDO, Samuel Sancho.
About 25% of the Calanda peach production is exported, mainly to Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France and Portugal. The PDO is especially focused in Germany, where it has signed a contract with the main distribution chain, Edeka, to allow the product to further expand in the country. "This year we expect our export figures to increase by between 2 and 5%," emphasises Sancho. Outside Europe, the PDO has made its first shipments to Hong Kong and Singapore, but for now these are small, due to the "great cost of shipping the peaches by plane," explained Sancho.
The product has also managed to escape the current crisis in the stone fruit sector, which is the result of prices standing below the production costs, as recently denounced by the agrarian unions. As for the market value, the president of the PDO assures that the peach of Calanda is sold "at a good price," although he acknowledged that "it is still early to give figures, because eveything could change with the arrival of adverse weather conditions."
The campaign is now in full swing and nearly 3,000 people are employed for the harvesting, sorting and packaging processes.
The Regulatory Board of the PDO is concerned about the appearance of similar products that are marketed with fake labels. "We have detected fakes and have taken legal action, but justice is very slow," states Sancho.
The PDO has 15 certified companies and its plantations are located in 45 municipalities of Zaragoza and Teruel.
Publication date: 9/26/2017
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