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Kees Havenaar's (Frutas Luna) preview of the Spanish greenhouse vegetable season:
"Larger area for Spanish sweet peppers, smaller for tomatoes, virus in courgettes"The Spanish greenhouse vegetable season is about to begin. "Predictions are always difficult, but I'll give an overview of what I'm hearing," begins Kees Havenaar of Frutas Luna.
"The talk is that the sweet pepper area has grown by five percent. This is compared to last year. This expansion is divided equally for the red and yellow varieties. This means more sweet peppers. Combined with a good set-up, this will ensure a good supply," says Kees. "I do not, however, think this will cause any problems. Israel is sending less of this product to Europe. This means Spain is practically the only one on this market. Of course, there will be a few Moroccan, Greek and Turkish sweet peppers 'flying around', but I'm not concerned about this."
"What I do, however, find a bit worrisome, is the increasing area for red baby bell peppers. In this case, the genuine Palermos. The talk is that, this season, there will be 13% more of these. I, therefore, suspect that December is going to be a tough month. Fortunately, we laid a good foundation with our Luna and Kings brands over the last few years. We will see this through too", continues Kees.
"Moving on to cucumbers. The area for the late season cucumbers has remained the same. There are, however, fewer early season cucumbers. That is actually a good thing because the current prices do not fill you with a sense of joy. But, granted, we know this month is never good. Unless it is already cold and dark in the Netherlands", says Kees. "The area for courgettes is equal to that of last year. Production, however, started 15 days later. There is also a lot of pressure due to a virus. It has become a real problem. This has caused sky-high prices at the moment."
"The tomato area is still decreasing. There are a lot of problems due to viral disease. Every year, fewer tomatoes are planted. They could become the 'black sheep of the family'", says Kees. "The number of aubergines, at the moment, is less than last year at the same time. This will not last long. I have an idea that there are more hectares planted of this."
"All in all, there are changes here and there. We can see it. We all know very well that we are very dependent on the weather. A week of rain, followed by cold days, and everything stops growing, prices climb again", says Kees. "Here at Frutas Luna, in any case, we have had a good thing happen. We have expanded our sales team. Adolfo has joined to see to, among others, our French clients. Joey has joined as support and to deal with organic trade."
Publication date: 10/2/2017
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