David Franco, of Campo de Lorca

"Spain: "Broccoli campaign will be saved"

After the great anxiety of Murcia's broccoli producers in October and November due to high temperatures and lack of water resources in the Valley of Guadalentin, Spain's most important production area for this vegetable, "local governments have already ensured that sufficient volumes will be harvested to save the campaign," said David Franco, of the company Campo de Lorca.

"We've had two campaigns with production shortages in the autumn due to weather issues, and thus European retailers were keeping a close eye on us," continues David. "But this year we didn't want to fail, and many within the sector have managed to save the autumn season without interrupting service to our customers thanks to geographical diversification," he affirms. "In our case, we have arranged production in almost all possible areas of Spain, such as Cartagena, Lorca, Alicante, Almeria, Granada, Navarra and Castile-La Mancha simultaneously. Focusing on a single production area is too much of a risk."


David Franco at Campo de Lorca's stand at the latest edition of Fruit Attraction.

Regarding prices, while he can't really say they were good, particularly during the month of October, when there were shortages at the time the export season started, David points out that they remained stable at reasonable levels.

"Later, in November, we sold everything we couldn't in October thanks to the better weather and quality. There was, therefore, sufficient volumes to cover a growing demand and a very receptive market, which resulted in good prices," he states.

Consumption has now dropped a little and thus prices are also lower, ranging between 0.30 and 0.40 Euro per kilo at origin, and 0.75 and 0.85 Euro per kilo at the warehouse. These prices barely serve to cover production costs, as broccoli costs about 30 or 35 cents to produce. However, David Franco is confident that "demand will grow steadily in the weeks before Christmas, as the number of orders remains high. Besides, the cold temperatures that are starting to be registered will result in limited production volumes."

Spanish broccoli is finding new markets outside the EU
While the broccoli sector is keeping a close eye on the situation in Russia for now and the near future, it has also pursued to reach more markets outside the EU, as nowadays, compared to three years ago, exports can be shipped much farther.

"Tests have been carried out in interesting markets such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia, as well as Canada, where we have conducted some tests this summer with good results, and will soon thus become a reality. Moreover, we are finding markets in Africa through the port of Angola. Brazil's interest in our produce is also becoming noteworthy," he assures.

According to David, despite the logistical costs, these are markets "where we can grow, especially during their off-season periods, taking advantage of the fact that we have produce available all year round."

Production 20% up compared to last season
Murcia's market share has been increasing in recent years, while the broccoli acreage has also been steadily growing, and it seems that this trend will continue, as more and more new destinations continue to be reached, gaining ground on the production from other countries.

According to the latest data supplied by Murcia's Council of Agriculture and Water, the broccoli production in 2014 is estimated to reach 216,179 tonnes; up 20% compared to last year and 23% higher than the average of the past five years. In Spain, Murcia is the leading producer, with 52% of the total. Globally, Spain is the third largest producer behind China and India.


For more information:
David Franco Ruzafa
Campo de Lorca, SCL
Camino Liforos s/n 30815 Dip Tercia
Lorca, Murcia, Spain
T: +34 968465960+34 968465960
info@campodelorca.com
www.campodelorca.com
www.brocolicricket.com

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