The Huelva-based marketer Onubafruit has closed the current berry campaign with good results, but without being able to meet its initially planned objectives. Manager Francisco Sánchez told agrodiariohuelva.es that there has been a notable reduction in the production of both strawberries (-18%) and blueberries (-25%), adding that this has not been a result of the pandemic, but of the adverse weather conditions registered during the spring in Huelva.
“We have not sold one gram less because of the pandemic. It is true that when the COVID-19 crisis started, we went through very difficult times, especially during the first weeks due to the uncertainty generated. But supermarkets started to buy more fruit than usual due to the closure of the central and street markets," says Sánchez.
While the initial forecast was to reach 35 million strawberries this season, eventually it has only been possible to harvest 30 million. “Despite the fact that we have missed 5 million kilos, the campaign cannot be described as bad, since Onubafruit's strawberry partners have obtained the highest price ever. We have paid the warehouses an average of 1.85 Euro.”
Regarding blueberries, Sánchez says that “while last year we obtained a production of 14 million kilos, the forecast this time had been to reach 16 million; 20% more. However, we are going to stay at around 12 million, which is 25% less than initially estimated.”
Despite this significant drop in the production, the manager of Onubafruit is not dissatisfied with the results obtained with blueberries. “With 40% of the production in May lost due to the weather conditions, the price has risen by 50% compared to the previous campaign. In May, the fruit cost 2 Euro more than last year.”
Raspberries have been the only berry with a normal production campaign. "We have met the prospects in terms of volume and have almost maintained the price, which has only dropped by about 10 cents on average compared to last year. But since the volume harvested has increased by almost a million and a half kilos, we are satisfied.”
Regarding the total revenue of the campaign, Francisco Sánchez says that “while we initially thought we could reach up to 250 million Euro, in the end we will stay at about 235 million, 8 million more than last year. This is a true success, given the unique circumstances, which had led us to be prepared for great losses."