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Spain has 400 hectares. It will soon be produced also in other countries

"Sando clementines will fill a big gap in the gourmet market"

The campaign of the protected clementine variety Sando has started on the Valencian and Catalan coast. At the moment, Spain has around 400 hectares devoted to this variety, and this acreage will gradually continue to grow in a controlled manner in the coming years.

"We started harvesting the first Sando clementines in early January and we'll be able to market them for two months," says José Vicente Minguet, manager of Frutas Minguet. We have been working with this variety for two years and we are very happy with its success in the market. After the end of the Clemenules harvest, there is traditionally a gap in the clementine market, which lacks a variety with a similar taste quality.

The Hernandina clementine is available, but its flavour leaves much to be desired for the most demanding markets. Now the Sando can fill this gap, since it is like a continuation of the Clemenules, but with better colour and even better flavour," says the producer and exporter, who points out that in addition to being a protected variety with organoleptic qualities that enhance its value, the Sando also stands out for reaching higher prices in the market.

Based in Xilxes, in the province of Castellón, Frutas Minguet produces and sells clementines and oranges that are mainly intended for export and shipped to markets such as Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland. The fruits are marketed under the Minguet and Tout-Miel brands.

This year, all batches of Sando clementines have started to be officially labelled as a protected variety. "Each label provides information on the variety and its producer; something that in addition to helping in its promotion, enhances the product's value and safety in the international markets, where most of the fruit is sold. These markets have learned to appreciate the flavour, colour and the value of a gourmet product," explains Joan Caballol, head of the entity managing the Sando protected variety.

"Consumers are increasingly demanding and want to know the origin and the name of the variety, so that they can repeat their purchase if they are satisfied with their experience or avoid it otherwise. For the consumer, it is important to know what variety they are buying, from what producer and from what marketer, as well as what is the best time of the year to consume this variety," he adds.

Artur Filipsu, general director of Melba Export, based in La Sènia, Tarragona, says that after carrying out tests with this variety, he is starting to increase his volumes, which he markets under the brands Melba and Anna Maria.

"After the good results of the commercial tests we carried out last year, this year we are supplying this variety to the supermarket chain Aldi, especially in the United Kingdom, and to Tesco in Poland. We also market the Sando through other distribution chains and wholesale markets in France, Belgium and Eastern European countries, such as Romania, Poland, Hungary or Lithuania. The customers who have tried this variety are very enthusiastic about it and usually want more," says the exporter.

At the moment, it is planted in Spain, although contracts have already been closed for its cultivation in Australia, the United States, South Africa and Peru, among others. "There are producers from different countries who have shown interest in the variety and have visited us to try it and learn about its productive characteristics," says Miquel Matamoros, owner of Sando's rights and general director of Alcanar Cítrics i Vivers. "In the same way, we have visited these countries to check the acclimatization of the Sando, with very promising results."

For more information:
Miquel Matamoros
Alcanar Verd Cítrics i Vivers
M: +34 649937915

Juan José Minguet
Frutas Minguet
M: +34 680456480
T: +34 964 58 30 72

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