So far, licenses have already been granted for around 700,000 plants of the new Leanri mandarin variety, managed by the Protected Vegetable Varieties Company (CVVP), and which will have its first commercial campaign next year. The Leanri, together with the new lemon variety Summer Prim, is currently the most demanded plant material for the CVVP.
According to company manager, Reyes Moratal, who FreshPlaza interviewed at Fruit Logistica in Berlin, a lot of Leanri is being planted in Castellon, as well as in other other citrus growing areas in Spain. In Castellon, growers have been looking for options to replace the famous Clemenules (a free variety), as its production in this province reaches very high levels within a relatively short amount of time. Consequently, there is often great pressure on prices. The harvest of this variety lasts from December to late February.
"The new Leanri mandarin is considered a sensational variety. The great majority of producers who visit the farms where it is already planted decide to bet on it," says Reyes Moratal. "It is a variety with great taste qualities, similar to the already established Murcott."
Regarding the Summer Prim lemons, around 700 hectares have already been planted for commercial exploitation, mainly in the Region of Murcia, although now licenses are also being sold in the province of Valencia. "The Summer Prim is intended to fill a very important gap in the market, when the Spanish Fino lemon campaign has come to an end and only Verna lemons are available. Sales of this lemon variety have skyrocketed in January, when more licenses were sold than in all of 2018," says Moratal.
The company representative agrees in describing the current citrus season as quite complicated for the sector, especially for free varieties. "It is true that protected varieties such as those we manage are also somewhat affected by the price crisis, but still provide a return to all parties involved, especially their producers. At the moment, the Nadorcott campaign is in full swing, and we will have to see how the market evolves in this second part of the citrus season.
The Protected Vegetable Varieties Company, which currently has 4 partners, is looking for new partners and is open to managing protected varieties of any fruit or vegetable.
"We believe that there are many varieties that are too exposed to fraud and illegal multiplication, and we have much to contribute at a very low cost, thanks to our more than 10 years of experience in this field. We are available to breeders in Spain and internationally for any kind of variety. There is a lot of potential in blueberry, stone fruit, kiwifruit and grape varieties, for example. We are improving our traceability systems and legal management in order to provide a better service."
The Protected Plant Varieties Company is one of the sponsors of the next Global Berry Congress, which will take place in Rotterdam from March 25 to 27.