The weather conditions are currently having a positive impact on the cherry bloom in northeastern Spain. In Fraga and Lleida, the bloom is starting about 10 days early.
"If the weather continues to be as good as it's been so far, we could be harvesting the first cherries by around April 20. The bloom is making us suspect that we'll have a full harvest. The bees are doing their job nicely and everything points to us having a good campaign, as long as nothing extraordinary happens until the harvest," says Carlos Llambrich, manager of Llamfruit.
The company has always allocated significant volumes of cherries to the United Kingdom, although it is now diversifying to other European markets, in view of what may happen with the implementation of Brexit.
"The United Kingdom is a very important market for the Spanish cherry sector. We don't know what will happen with Brexit, but it doesn't look like it'll have negative repercussions for our business, and anyway, we don't want to take that risk. For that reason, we have worked to increase sales in other markets, like Germany and Switzerland," says the exporter.
The Middle East is also becoming increasingly interesting for this company, as well as Southeast Asia, namely Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Llamfruits expects to market around one million, two hundred thousand kilos of cherries this season. "This figure will increase in the coming years, since we have planted more this year. Now we have around 110 hectares," explains Carlos Llambrich.
In the meantime, a variety renewal process has been implemented in the oldest fields. "We are betting on strong varieties that can withstand travel well, both dark and bicolor, but above all, they must have a great flavor."
This season, Llamfruit will have a greater treatment, packaging and storage capacity, with a total of four optical sorting lines (type Unitec Cherry Vision 3). "We are enthusiastic and are looking forward to starting the campaign," says Carlos Llambrich.