The 46,000 orange trees in the city of Seville are expected to yield a record of nearly 6 million tons of bitter oranges this year.
Antonio Martinez, the head of the Naranjas Agridulces SL company, said that some trees yielded up to 300 kilos of fruit, i.e. almost three times as much as in other years. He also said that the harvest had started almost a month earlier than usual because of the high production volume there was this year. A crew can collect 12,000 to 14,000 kilos a day, the manager stated.
Bitter oranges are used to make cosmetics, marmalade, and, since last year, to create biogas for the city's water treatment plants, as part of a project of Seville's City Council that seeks their self-sufficiency.
The harvest work begins with the announcement that the streets will be blocked so that the vehicles do not disturb the workers that use large extendable ladders to access the highest fruits on the trees. The workers wear helmets, a harness and use a stick to drop the oranges to the ground, where their colleagues collect them in cloth devices that are hooked to their shoulders. Then they deposit them in plastic boxes that are then transferred to vans.
The Bordas company, which acquires part of the city's produce, stated that they were leaders in the export of bitter orange from Seville, the city that produces the most bitter oranges in the world.
Source: Efe / lavanguardia.com