The medlar campaign in the province of Malaga is developing without too many problems, as far as the number of laborers is concerned, but with an almost stagnant market and low prices.
José Manuel López, president of the cooperative of Sayalonga, the municipality that accounts for most of the production in the Axarquía, said that harvesting in the eastern Malaga region is proceeding normally. As for prices, although the first ones have been good for the producers, they are beginning to fall. In this municipality, the price drops are putting producers in a difficult situation, as labor costs are high in the area.
Another municipality that is a leader in the production of this tropical fruit is Estepona, where the harvest is at a much more advanced stage (70%), since it kicks off earlier due to the varieties grown in this municipality. The most common variety in this town is the Agerie, also known as Algerian. The manager of the Estepona agricultural cooperative, María García, says that "the campaign is being tough. The harvest is being sold, but more slowly and prices have fallen by almost 40% compared to the previous year."
For José Antonio Alconchel, manager of Alcoaxarquía, a company specialized in the production and marketing of citrus and organic fruit, this year's medlar campaign "is being disastrous;" partly because in Italy, which is one of the main markets for this Spanish fruit, there is currently no consumption. "As in Spain, people are only going out once a week to do groceries and medlar is more of a fruit for neighborhood stores and small markets, many of which are closed, than for large supermarkets," said Alconchel, adding that the prices at origin stand below the euro per kilo for the larger calibers.
The province's medlar production is expected to be similar to or even greater than that of 2019, which amounted to around 2,500 tons.