Cobella, the Spanish cooperative from Lepe, Huelva, produced more than 300 tons of pomegranates in this campaign, thus doubling the volume it achieved during the 2018 campaign. This increase was achieved thanks to the fruit obtained from the 40 hectares of young plantations managed by the 25 partners of Cobella. According to the forecasts of the manager of the cooperative, Pedro Paniagua, in the next campaigns, the total tonnage can increase by another 40%. 90% of the pomegranate collected belongs to the Emek variety, of which Cobella has an exclusive license. The rest of the pomegranates are of the Mollar de Elche and Acco varieties.
Paniagua said it was a good campaign, especially because they managed to be in the markets nearly 22 days earlier than in the previous campaign, and take advantage of this time commercially. "Our customers already had access to high-quality fruit since mid-August," he stated.
Achieving this advance was possible thanks to the favorable weather conditions, the dedication of the members of the cooperative, their knowledge of the crop, the good technical work they've developed, and having a specialized marketer such as Onubafruit, the manager of Cobella stated.
Pedro Paniagua said that it was still too early to reach conclusions about the economic profitability of the campaign because they still had to determine if the prices achieved this year were a trend or if they had been favored by the meteorological conditions that helped advance that the harvest.
In this sense, the manager of Cobella emphasized that "the cultivation of early varieties of pomegranate is very complicated and also entails high costs. After several years and a lot of investment, we have managed to put a stable product that does not have issues on the market. But we must recognize that the acclimatization of these varieties has cost a lot of effort and work, both for our farmers and our technicians, so we won't know the exact profitability this crop until the plantations that are currently young consolidate their productions per hectare."
Onubafruit commercialized Cobella's pomegranates in Europe, with Germany as their main market, but they also allocated part of the production for the national territory.