The strawberry campaign in the province of Huelva has been hit hard by the current crisis. Interfresa, the Association of Andalusian Strawberry Producers, has decided to focus its efforts on the blueberry campaign, which has become especially important in recent years, because of the impossibility of having the contingent of Moroccan workers for the harvest due to the closure of the Moroccan borders, and the significant drop in demand for strawberry in its main markets - including Germany - due to the expansion of the coronavirus in Europe.
On Tuesday, March 24, Interfresa requested the Ministry of Employment to delay, for the moment, the job offer they had made to collect strawberry in the province, given that the situation has changed and become very complicated.
However, the sector's goal is to preserve the strawberry production campaign as much as possible. To do this, they are looking for alternatives to the usual markets and promoting the national market, while counting on the fruit that is destined to the industry to save as much fruit as possible and avoid a greater loss.
According to Interfresa, if the state of alarm is lifted by the scheduled date, April 11, they would enter the blueberry campaign and would need a significant number of workers and would have to make a public offer of employment.
The Government suspends contracting at source
The Ministry of Social Inclusion, Social Security, and Migration has suspended all procedures related to the hiring of workers from Morocco for the seasonal agricultural campaign in Huelva due to the state of alarm decreed by the coronavirus crisis.
For 2020, the ministry authorized the hiring of a total of 20,195 workers at source, taking into account that, in terms of demand, Huelva's seasonal agricultural season is the most important.
According to the Ministry, "once the situation linked to the current state of alarm comes to an end and the restrictions at the external borders are lifted, the Secretary of State may issue new instructions to adapt the procedures that had been started to hire people in line with the new needs."