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José Luis Ruiz, of Biosabor
"We are looking at the best papaya varieties for Spanish cultivation"Although about 600 tonnes of papayas grown in Almeria were marketed by El Papayal del Mediterráneo in the previous campaign, this season's prospect is to reach around 400 tonnes, which will cover the market demand for about 10 and a half months, from mid-September to late July. The reason for this decline is the search for varieties that are perfectly suited to the Spanish climate.
"At this time, we are looking into traditional varieties, as we have yet to find the variety that is best suited to Almeria's production system. That is why there has been a slight drop in the production," explains José Luis Ruiz, from the marketing department of Biosabor. "At the moment, we mainly grow the varieties Intenzza, Sweet Sense and Caballero, although we have tests underway with a range of more than 20 varieties with the aim of finding the papayas that best adapt to the Mediterranean climate conditions in which we produce," he points out
Biosabor is specialised in the production and marketing of organic fruits and vegetables and distributes El Papayal organic papayas across Europe adhering to the organic certification protocols. Since they started working with this product in 2016, the growth in the demand has been remarkable and they expect it to continue like this in the future.
"In Europe, there is a growing demand for tropical fruits, including papayas, mostly due to their nutritional benefits. The tropical fruit segment is also developing in other countries with a purchasing power comparable to the European one. Consequently, we hope that the demand for papayas will increase in the near future," says José Luis Ruiz.
According to José Luis, the advantage of Spanish papayas compared to its overseas competitors is basically "their proximity to the European market, which makes it possible to harvest them at a more advanced stage of ripeness, resulting in a sweeter fruit and in better tasting qualities for the consumer. In the case of Biosabor, the fruit's organic production also guarantees that it will be a very healthy papaya," he says.
Most papaya producers in Almeria were previously vegetable growers; in fact, the greenhouses used for the cultivation of this tropical fruit used to be devoted to vegetable production. "We think that vegetable producers in Almeria will have access to the right technological developments in the immediate future, especially when it comes to growing practices and infrastructures. This will allow them to easily include papayas in their product range," says José Luis Ruiz.
For more information:
José Luís Ruíz
Ctra. San José Km. 2
04117 San Isidro de Nijar – Almeria. Spain
T: +34 950 700 100
M: +34 630 852 663
Publication date: 2/6/2018
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