On April 22, the first kilos of cherries arrived to the facilities of the Agrupación de Cooperativas del Valle del Jerte (Group of Cooperatives of the Jerte Valley). This entails the opening of the 2019 campaign, for which there are good prospects in terms of both volume and quality.
Those first kilos correspond to the earliest varieties. The harvest has started almost three weeks earlier than in the previous campaign, although on a completely normal date, if we take other years as reference. This time, the weather conditions have been ideal. The mild and warm temperatures that have been recorded since February advanced the flowering, and have also helped in the fruit setting.
The first cherries harvested will go to the domestic market. Throughout the week, the volumes will grow, and in the following one, they are expected to reach quantities that will make it possible to start exporting. In Europe, they are already waiting for the Jerte cherries, sold under the Zalama brand. The UK and Germany will be the first destinations to receive them; two countries that stand out in Europe for their appreciation for the cherries from the Jerte Valley.
The cherry campaign is the busiest time in the Jerte Valley. This fruit is the engine of the region's economy, and a lot of laborers are needed for the harvest. When the production peaks, the Agrupación de Cooperativas del Valle del Jerte employs around 1,200 people directly; that is, without counting the laborers required in the field.
This year, it seems that the weather has been ideal, although the campaign lasts until August and it is impossible to predict whether it will be optimal until then. So far, since the flowering, the conditions have been very good, and if they remain stable, we will soon see large cherry volumes hit the market.
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