The melon campaign in Murcia has started with a delay of ten days, which has led to a greater concentration of fruit in a shorter period. Procomel, one of Spain's leading melon marketers, expects the production to be similar to that of 2018, which was not a bad year.
Procomel is best known for its melon brand "El Abuelo", which has not stopped growing in Spain since its creation in 2003, and which is now also exported. Its offices and packing center are located very close to its fields in Torre-Pacheco, Balsicas and Los Martínez del Puerto, in the Region of Murcia.
Furthermore, they have their own plantations in different parts of the world, such as Brazil and Senegal, which allows them to supply the best melons and watermelons all year round.
"Our work is mostly focused on Piel de Sapo melons, but over the years, we have been introducing other varieties, including a yellow-skinned one with orange flesh, which is a delicacy and which we call Sugar Baby Gold. Another one we market is a white melon with green specks which we call Sugar Baby Matisse, which also has a spectacular taste," says Cele Buendía, General Director of Procomel.
Cele Buendía, General Director of Procomel.
The Murcian company is present in almost all European countries, as well as Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and the Arab Emirates, among others. "We have given a boost to our melon exports, which already account for 25% of our sales. The demand from the Asian markets also continues to grow, but very slowly."
Sugar Baby Matisse.
"Melon consumers increasingly prefer smaller pieces"
One of the parameters that is changing the most in melon cultivation, besides the flavor, is the fruit's size. "Size matters!" says Cele Buendia." In recent years, the fruit's preferred weight has dropped by half a kilo per piece, which is understandable, since the family units are also smaller than before. For this reason, much progress has been made in recent years in the field of varietal innovation. The seed houses are offering us great options."
"We increasingly produce and eat healthier"
Regarding the growth opportunities that may be ahead in the organic and fresh cut markets, Cele believes that "Spain is a country that likes to eat products with a good taste and with guarantees. Today, we undoubtedly produce healthier and eat also healthier than twenty years ago. At the same time, we are also more demanding as consumers."
"Having more consumption options, such as organic products, which we have also been producing for twelve years, marketing them under the Procomel Bio brand, is another service for consumers who opt for this product line. I have the same opinion when it comes to fresh cut products."
"Fortunately, our brand is well-recognized by consumers and that makes us optimistic. We continue growing, and this allows us to be more confident about what we are doing; therefore, we will remain committed to producing our melons," says Cele Buendía. "On several occasions, I have described our activities as 'very reliable.' We invest a lot and continuously in improving what we do, and fortunately, it is yielding results," he says.