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Verdimed: Current situation of Spanish spinach in Europe

"Spain: "Fresh spinach still has plenty to offer to the market"

The unusually high temperatures in Murcia during September and October have caused the harvest of spinach and other leaf vegetables to take place earlier, overlapping with the production of overseas clients who are still purchasing their own produce. "It is a risk we need to assume with every campaign, both at the beginning and the end of it. We need to act cautiously to prevent shortages or oversupply," explains Carlos F Gutiérrez, Area Manager at Verdimed.



Verdimed: One of Europe's largest spinach producers
The Murcian company Verdimed has been involved in the production and marketing of vegetables for more than 30 years. It pioneered the cultivation of brassicas, and 10 years ago introduced diversification with the growing of spinach, which back then were produced almost exclusively by Italian firms.

"Now, after several campaigns and a little over 300 hectares of plantations, we have managed to become one of Europe's largest producers, present in most of the continent's greatest distribution chains and a wide range of products."

Verdimed produces two types of spinach: an adult one, intended for culinary use, chopping, boiling, etc., and a baby one, more suitable for salads.

The products are packed in different ways depending on the client's needs. "What matters most is the effectiveness in the harvesting and storing processes before loading, as well as the quality controls in both fields and warehouses to prevent any quality problems. Generally, the fewer processes the product is subject to before arriving to its final destination, the longer its shelf life will be.

Cooling is another critical point. Food safety is guaranteed as a result of the good practices carried out by the technical departments and corroborated by the constant analyses and external audits performed on our processes and products," explains Carlos F.



Spinach all year round: Domestic market in summer, exports in winter

Verdimed has provided an uninterrupted service for many years. According to Carlos F., it is only necessary to move the production areas to more suitable places during the summer period. "The summer campaign is mainly intended to supply the domestic market, as most European countries have their own production during that period. At the moment we are more focused on the export market, although we are making a great effort to increase our share in the domestic market."



Fresh vs Frozen
Despite frozen spinach still being far more popular, Carlos F. affirms that fresh consumption keeps increasing, especially for salads. "Frozen spinach obviously offers the advantage of a longer shelf life, but I can see the processed convenience format becoming increasingly more popular in a society ever so aware of the benefits of consuming fresh products in a safe and comfortable manner. I believe fresh spinach has still plenty to offer to the market."

In search of more distant markets
"Our spinach is marketed in most western European countries thanks to the improvements made to our productive processes, which allow us to maximise the product's shelf life. We are now managing to enter more distant markets, such as Eastern Europe, the Baltic countries or the Middle East, where it used to be very hard and expensive to export. In this sense, we are making a great effort to establish new alliances."


For more information:
Verdimed
Pol.In. Los Urreas, s/n.
San Javier, Murcia. Spain
T:+34 968190238
M: +34 690627574
cgutierrez@verdimed.com
www.verdimed.com

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