César Ruescas, manager of Ruescas Export.
The onion campaign, as in the case of other horticultural products, has been affected by adverse weather conditions. The heat wave since May and the impact of storms have reduced the harvest volumes by between 20 and 30%, also with smaller calibres. "Retailers have paid high prices to producers due to the difficulty in finding large sizes," explains César Ruescas, of Ruescas Export, during a visit from FreshPlaza to the company's facilities in Valencia. "There will continue to be a shortage of large calibres until late in the campaign. If there are enough countries accepting medium calibres, there won't be problems," he adds.
The family business was founded by the Ruescas brothers 28 years ago, a second generation devoted to the onion sector. Today, they ship about 25 million kilos per year from their own fields, as well as from contracted growers and other third parties. Its sales are aimed both at wholesale markets and supermarkets. For Ruescas Export, the harvest season begins in April with short day onions (or Spring), moving on to Babosa onions in May and Medio Grano in June, closing the campaign between July and September with Grano onions. From September, Grano onions are kept in cold storage all winter.
They sell the product both at domestic and international level, with Europe as the main destination, although every year they ship to countries outside the EU, especially overseas. They also import onions from Chile to supply European supermarkets and sweet onions from Peru for their distribution in the Spanish market when the Spanish harvest ends.
According to César Ruescas, "Spanish onions are sold for most expensive prices than the Dutch, its main competitor, due to the low mechanization of our process and to the fact that it is a more delicate onion, with a sweeter flavour and a wider range of calibres, from 50 to 120 mm and more, while other competing European countries have small calibres.
Demand for Spanish onions is growing
Spanish onions are gaining notoriety worldwide and demand is gradually increasing, according to César Ruescas. "Customers are starting to realise that hey are superior in terms of quality, with a smoother flavour than that of other competing onions. In Spain, consumption is also on the rise, as it is a staple product in the kitchen. The growth in the consumption of sweet onions for salads is also noteworthy."
For more information:
Ruescas Export, S.L.
T: +34 9612408907