The medlar campaign in the region of Marina Baixa, an area in Alicante that accounts for 50% of the national production of this fruit and that produces the Callosa d'En Sarriá Protected Designation of Origin medlar, has begun.
Last year producers had a setback as a result of the beginning of the confinement due to COVID-19 and the atypical weather that decreased the harvest to 10 million kilos. This year, production volumes are expected to recover if the temperatures remain stable during the month of April and reach 13 million kilos, as recently reported by ASAJA Alicante.
“We expect Marina Baixa's medlar campaign will be great, both in volume and in organoleptic qualities. Producers have had to carry out fewer treatments due to the absence of rains during flowering, so the product will reach the consumer with zero residue. In addition, it will have a large size and flavor that we haven't achieved for years,” highlighted the president of Young Farmers ASAJA Callosa d'En Sarrià, Rafael Gregori.
He also said the sector needed to recover from 2020, a very complicated year in which many farmers had to spend more money than expected, to the point that they have been forced to uproot some plots this year because of the instability and lack of profitability they face.
The campaign started with a 20-day delay when compared to 2020, which could diminish market returns. However, producers are optimistic. The earliest fruit is already being harvested in the region and producers expect the bulk of the harvest in a couple of weeks, coinciding with the foreseeable end of the confinement in Italy, which is the destination for 80% of the Callosa medlar.
Permanent reduction of personal income tax
ASAJA Alicante continues to demand a permanent reduction in the personal income tax index for this fruit. The general index for the medlar stands at 0.37 and ASAJA requests it is permanently reduced by 0.16.
“Medlar production is a purely artisanal process. 80% of the time, it is the same producer who sows it, collects it a minimum of four times per season, sends it to small artisanal warehouses, where it is classified and packaged. The very high index currently being used does not correspond to the economic reality that the producers of this fruit are experiencing,” Rafael Gregori complains.