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Wim Isings, Explotaciones Fincas Iberia:
"Very little demand for Spanish fruit in Europe""The demand for Spanish citrus and other fruits seems to be somewhat less than last year", says Wim Isings of Explotaciones Fincas Iberia, a Growers Association in Spain. "We get the impression that the European markets, given that Christmas and New Year are approaching, are sluggish. We usually prepare ourselves for major transportation problems that occur at around this time of year. Last year, around this time, we were sitting with our hands in our hair. But up to now, there have been no problems."
It is not clear why this year is different to last year. "It seems the case in all the European markets. Dutch traders who are, in general, more upfront about the situation, have said the markets are, in fact, rather quiet", says Wim. "There have been reports of problems with the quality and size of the citrus. There seems to be a shortage of large sizes in, especially, Germany. We, fortunately, did not have any problems with quality. Our main focus is on the higher quality and price segment."
Their herbs are selling as expected. "We are experiencing some production problems at the moment. This is due to the cold weather and occasional frost", says Wim. "Luckily we can solve supply problems because the co-operation between our herb growers is so good. Last week we supplied one of our colleagues with dill, now we are buying mint and spinach from him. This kind of co-operation is quite unusual here. I think one of the reasons it is possible is that there are not that many large farms of fresh herbs destined for the export market. Our farms are also not so far apart from each other."
There are still a few problems in the area of contract cultivation of open field vegetables. This is due to the frost. This concerns lettuce varieties, endive and broccoli. "We mainly supply processing plants ad they are now waiting for stock.The cold has caused a delay of a few days, which we, of course, find very annoying", Wim concludes.
Publication date: 12/22/2017
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