According to the president of Freshuelva, Alberto Garrocho, the strawberry campaign in the province has been "difficult, complex and one to forget," and the sector "has had a bad time." In addition to the reduction in the production volume, which according to Garrocho is estimated at around 20% due to the lack of labor caused by COVID-19, Huelva's sector has faced a strong reduction in the consumption of this fruit, aggravated by the closure of the horeca channel following the state of alarm decreed on March 14, since March and April are the months when the campaign reaches its peak.
As for the price of strawberries, they have maintained a steep decline since February and ranged between 0.79 and 1.14 Euro in March, April and May. As explained by the president of Freshuelva, "entrepreneurs have suffered considerable losses in their farms" and a part of the production has had to go to processing sector, as "the options in the market were very limited."
Looking to the future, Alberto Garrocho has announced that Freshuelva will look for alternative countries in which to hire workers at origin, such as Moldova and its surroundings. He also mentioned some Latin American countries, like Honduras, given the convenience of speaking the same language. He said that the Administrations should "make an effort" when it comes to facilitating agreements and measures for the exchange of workers.
The president of Freshuelva also highlighted the success of the repatriation process of the 7,200 Moroccan workers, which culminated on July 29, when the last ferry from the Port of Huelva set sail for Tangier. The women stayed for two months in Huelva due to the border closure decreed by Morocco as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus.