The strong impact that the coronavirus crisis has had on Huelva's strawberry sector, as its period of maximum production and commercialization coincided with the months in which the disease peaked, has led the Andalusian sector to propose strategies that help counteract possible future adversities. The manager of Freshuelva, Rafael Dominguez, proposed planning the campaign so that it took place in a more staggered fashion. Instead of concentrating production in the months of April and May, the objective is to try to maintain an adequate level of marketing from November to June.
According to Dominguez, it's already possible to stay in the markets that long with a quality strawberry; all they need to do is to select the most suitable varieties for each stage of the campaign and to program the hectares that must go into production throughout it. "We must prevent the early strawberry from coinciding in time with the seasonal strawberry," he stressed.
“We have to learn from blueberry and raspberry producers, who have known how to react and are no longer gambling the campaign in a single harvest. Now they have two: an early harvest and a late one. Everyone learned the lesson and now the strawberry sector must also learn it. This pandemic has forced us to react. Last year we said that the sector was going to be forced to change because of water and labor issues, now it's possible that the coronavirus is bringing about this much-needed change,” Dominguez stated.
The campaign would reduce the economic damages that new anomalous situations that coincide with the peak moments of the campaign could cause to the sector. In addition, it would also partially solve the problem of labor demand, as the sector would no longer have a demand for a high volume of workers during a specific period of time.