"With a total of 60,000 tons produced, the pepper campaign has been mediocre, as has the first part of the cucumber campaign. At the beginning of the cucumber campaign, prices were excellent due to the shortages recorded from September to November; however, things haven't gone so well in the second part. The late plantings and a mild winter have resulted in overproduction, with the consequent drop in prices, while competing with the Netherlands and the UK," explains Manuel Galdeano, president of Murgiverde.
The company closed the year with 170,000 tons of peppers, cucumbers and watermelons; and, to a lesser extent, melons, eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes. The company's production is intended almost exclusively for export to Europe, the US and Canada.
"In an unstable market, a long partnership guarantees stable exports to destinations all over Europe, with Germany, France and the UK being the preferred destinations. The commercial relationship with these markets is the result of years of work," says Manuel Galdeano.
"In order to continue growing, long-term continuity is needed. A quality product and a good service to the retail chains are a guarantee of development and market positioning," says Manuel Galdeano.
With a turnover of 160 million Euro, the cooperative already has its organic line. "Change is happening very quickly; our organic line represents 40% of the production. I hope we will soon manage to reach 100%," said the President.
Manuel Galdeano Morales, President of Murgiverde
"The need for change was conveyed by our 800 farmer partners. The selection of suitable varieties to avoid diseases, such as mildew or powdery mildew, is a challenge for organic varieties. Also the reduction of phytosanitary product use, the biological control of pests, and disease prevention," says Manuel Galdeano.
Since a few months ago, Murgiverde has been investing in a pioneering project of biodynamic agriculture. This is a method that can be applied in organic agriculture with integrated control. It consists in the planting of cereals inside the greenhouse and aromatic plants around it, thereby eliminating viruses and pests. Another method is the breeding of insects able to act as phytosanitary agents.
The basics of the project are outlined (in Spanish) in the following video: