LA UNIÓ de Llauradors (Producers Association) has issued a message advising kaki producers not to rush when selling their harvest, as it has detected "pressures to force them to sell the fruit at rock bottom prices and do business at the growers' expense."
"Not a day goes by without the spread of biased opinions regarding low prices and which aim to put the focus on the most negative aspects of the crop," says Eduard Esparza, head for kakis at LA UNIÓ. For example, there have been talks about the frequent destruction of plantations, "when only a single one has been abandoned in the entire county of La Ribera, with an owner who was growing both kakis and citrus and who had decided to keep only the latter."
LA UNIÓ acknowledges that the crop's profitability is currently not as good as it was a few years ago, when the production was much lower, but it believes that it still has a promising future ahead, even though some insist on the opposite. Esparza thinks "some appear to be trying to destroy the profitability of kakis to make them share the fate of citrus fruits, which we were basically forced to give away so that others could do risk-free business."
In the first part of the campaign, the results have not been as negative as predicted. Although the prices were not as good as in the previous campaign, with an average of 0.30 Euro/kg, the export figures have been noteworthy. Also, in the last week of October and the first of November, which is when there is a greater accumulation of production, the prices paid to the producer tend to be lower. Later, as the campaign develops and Christmas approaches, prices recover. "Everything seems to indicate that the last part of the campaign will be much better and prices will recover if nothing strange happens or there are weather-related issues," says Esparza.
LA UNIÓ also believes that the future of kaki cultivation depends on the concentration of the supply and not on the opposite, which is what some appear to be pursuing, as that would allow the producer sector to remain in control. Furthermore, we must also continue boosting the reputation of the PERSIMON brand, so that the consumer will associate the name with a quality product.