“The mango campaign in the Spanish province of Huelva is spectacular this year. It is starting a little earlier than usual, but with exceptional natural ripening and Brix,” says Pilar Lucio Sarria, manager of Luz Tropical. "The consumer demands fruit that has ripened in the tree. In general, they want fruit and vegetables that taste like actual fruit and vegetables. Many early varieties tend to be harvested before they have the right color, ripeness and quality. In the long term, such practices will only cause people to stop eating fruit and vegetables."
"In agriculture, many seem to have abandoned their common sense. We cannot let ourselves be run over by the demand. In the end, this results in disappointed consumers. We should think long term and wait to harvest the fruit and vegetables at the right time," says Pilar Lucio.
According to the manager of Luz Tropical, the delays during the campaign have consequences. "The chains with signed contracts want to have their shelves fully assorted constantly, regardless of the products' origin. That is what happened with mangoes last year; when we were ready to harvest them, the market was already supplied."
Unlike other fruits, mangoes have a residual presence in the ready to eat range. Technically, it is a difficult product to process. Each variety is different in terms of shape and size. Cutting and processing them would involve using different types of machinery and a high investment. Moreover, compote and jams are not products with a high demand.
“Mango consumption has become common in certain countries, such as Portugal. In Madeira, its consumption is deeply rooted. In Spain, the Sensation variety continues to be successful. We have created our exclusive variety with our own seed. It is an improved variety that combines the best of the Sensation (the taste) and removes the bad (the threads),” says Pilar.
"Also important has been our capacity to adapt to the demands of the consumer. A caliber ranging between 300 and 500 grams is ideal, since a person can consume a whole piece," says the manager.
“The mango market is stable, but it cannot be compared to that of avocados. These continue to gain ground dramatically, given their high prices."
Regarding the orange campaign, Pilar Lucio says that the citrus sector has already had two very bad seasons in a row. “Last year, there was campaign overlap, and the volume of this year's harvest will be halved. The heat has been disastrous for the oranges. This situation has caused producers in many areas of Huelva to uproot their citrus crops in order to plant avocados. This change is very recent and will have repercussions.”
Luz Tropical offers its own mango variety besides the Ataulfo and Gomera 1/3/4. The company has become one of Huelva's leading producers of tropical crops, with their own variety of mangoes, limes, guava, Buddha's hand and litchi.