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"The weather conditions have prevented the harvest in many farms"
Spain: Berry picking labourers arriving slowly
The first labourers hired at origin in Morocco for the Spanish berry harvest (mostly for the strawberry campaign) started to arrive in early April. The start of the campaign has been slow due to the inclement weather, since this week "it has not been possible to harvest on many farms."
It should be recalled that in late January, the central government authorised the recruitment at origin of 17,000 labourers in Morocco for the harvesting of berries in the province of Huelva.
Their arrival has been divided into two stages. The first started in late February, when the first ones arrived. These are repeaters. The second stage, scheduled for the peak of the campaign, usually begins in April. In this month, 11,000 more labourers are expected, bearing in mind that almost 4,000 arrived in March.
However, of those 11,000, only about 400 are in Huelva this week, as reported by the manager of Freshuelva, Rafael Domínguez. "For now, there are still few labourers because the weather is not ideal and the blueberries are also taking longer to be ready," he said.
As for the campaign itself, he stated that he doesn't like how it's going, since "the month of March has been very problematic, with many storms, and so much humidity in April is not good." In fact, in the first months of the season, up to 20 percent of the marketable production has been lost compared to the previous season.
"Rain and windstorms have damaged a lot of fruit, which has ended up rotting while still unripe," said Dominguez, who added that the weather in Europe "has not been good either, with plenty of snow. There's not much demand either. We're just waiting for spring to come."
However, the manager of Freshuelva is said to be optimistic about the second half of April, which "is expected to be good, with better temperatures, and more should be produced and consumed."
Source: Europa Press
Publication date: 4/17/2018
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