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LlorenÁ Frigola, president of the PGI Poma de Girona:
"This is the year in which Spanish apples can get their place in the market"The decline in the apple supply from the main European producer countries has left more room for the Spanish production this campaign, as confirmed by LlorenÁ Frigola, president of the Regulatory Council of the PGI Poma de Girona, whose stand at Fruit Attraction was very popular.
"There are lots of people who have come back after a few years to pay us a visit and buy apples from us again." Our goal is to keep the customers we have and continue expanding this portfolio, while opening new markets," told the president of the PGI.
The campaign is underway with 10% higher prices for all varieties for the open market, although some prices are even 20% higher. "There is a huge demand for Granny Smith, the old Golden are running out and those coming from Italy reach very high prices," affirms LLorenÁ. Moreover, prices are also going up in the processing industry, as there is a shortage of apples for the manufacture of concentrates, whose sector is even turning to kakis as a replacement," he adds.
Last year, the PGI exported 44% of its production. "This year, we have entered the Canadian market and we are also starting with India, and our shipments to the Middle East and North Africa continue to grow."
LlorenÁ Frigola assures that Spanish apples still play with a great disadvantage compared to its main competitor, Italy, and believes that the sector needs a push from the authorities in order to recover the lost market share in Spain and break through its borders.
"Italian apples are highly subsidised and supported by its government, which allows them to be much more competitive than we are. Their apples enter our market in 'dumping' conditions, with prices even lower than our production costs. We also need more help in order to go through the BIP's, the border inspection points. It is clear that we need to be better prepared to be able to export."
According to LlorenÁ Frigola, "something that European countries have and we don't is the consumer's awareness to buy the domestic product, as well as a producing and exporting sector working closely together." One in every two apples consumed in Spain is imported, mainly from France and Italy, according to a study by Afrucat. We are trying to inform our Spanish customers that we can supply a product of proximity, more sustainable in terms of transport and water use. Furthermore, we highlight the technification and professionalization of our apples, since about 70% of the production in Girona is protected with anti-hail mesh."
The PGI Poma de Girona covers mainly four apple varieties: Golden, Gala, Red and Granny Smith. "We are working to include other varieties, such as the Fuji, as well as other new varieties that can adapt to our climatic conditions, since many of the American or European varieties we try are unable to adapt to our temperate climate."
For more information:
LlorenÁ Frigola Vidal
PGI Poma de Girona
+34 670 080 708
+34 972 75 56 89
Publication date: 10/27/2017
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