The green asparagus harvest has been delayed by around 20 days this year as a result of the storms and frosts recorded in much of Spain in the first two weeks of January.
"At this time last year, we already had more significant volumes ahead of the start of the campaign, but this year we'll have to wait until the end of February," says Francisco Delgado, manager of the Los Gallombares cooperative from Granada. "Green asparagus is very sensitive to changes in temperature; it's like a thermometer," he says, joking.
The cooperative markets green asparagus all year round, producing them in Granada and importing them from Peru and Mexico in the off-season. At the moment, most of the supply available is Mexican.
“We are receiving the last batches of asparagus from Peru, given that, at this time, the quality is no longer as good. Meanwhile, we have been receiving the first batches from Mexico for about fifteen days, and their quality is very good this year. There are very good market conditions for this product, since we work almost entirely with supermarket chains. Those who work with wholesale and Horeca markets cannot say the same. The demand from supermarkets is surprisingly good, given the high prices currently paid for green asparagus,” says Francisco Delgado.
Los Gallombares will have a greater production this year following the incorporation of 140 new agricultural partners from the Agrolachar cooperative, which recently separated from Espárragos de Granada to become part of Los Gallombares. “Our acreage has remained at around 2,400 hectares for about 3 years. With the incorporation of the Agrolacha producers, we'll have one million more kilos of green asparagus this season, bringing the total to some 9 million kilos, as long as nothing unexpected happens.”
According to Francisco Delgado, the green asparagus acreage has remained stable over the last two seasons. "Until 3 years ago, the acreage had been growing remarkably, both in Granada and in Italy, but in addition to the fact that some smaller companies have disappeared, nobody is expanding the acreage right now," he says.