The Asturian council of Piloña is home to one of the largest kiwi plantations in the principality. "We produce more than 200 tons in the 10 hectares that we have devoted to this crop," stated the owner of the Vega d'Aguín kiwifruit plantation, Manuel Cimas. "If we add the production of the associated Asturian kiwi producers, we have 100 hectares and 1,200 tons."
The businessman has 25 hectares in Piloña, 10 of which are devoted to this fruit, and he is preparing the land to increase the kiwi-producing area by 5 hectares. The goal is to increase the area to 23 hectares in 2022, he said. "Our process runs from May to November. In the remaining months we import gourmet kiwi from Chile, which is distributed under the Sazon brand to differentiate it from the native product," Cimas said.
"Kiwi sales in Spain increase by a yearly average of 8%. It's a staple product for people. Spain has one of the highest consumptions per capita in the world, with 3 kilos per inhabitant," Manuel Cimas said. The quarantine hasn't negatively affected the work to prepare the land for production. "We had to invest 6,000 to 7,000 euro on sanitary material to protect our team, but it's an economic effort that we must assume," he said.
Finca Vega d 'Aguín was the first kiwifruit company to certify all its activities with Global Gap, which they achieved in 2016. It also has the authorization to use the Alimentos del Paraíso quality guarantee seal, the Asturias origin seal. The company has Veriseg certification and is an operator authorized by COPAE for the commercialization of organic kiwi. "We have very good fruit quality. Consumers prefer good quality products, so they stick to the brands they recognize," Cimas said.
Vega d'Aguín sells his kiwis in specialized stores and large supermarkets. "We are more interested in quality and origin than in bulk," he said.