The first kilos of the harvest will be delivered symbolically to cashiers, supermarket personnel, transporters, farmers, and farmworkers; a group of people that had an essential and strategic role in the production and the food chain during the pandemic and who haven't been taken into account in the government's vaccination plans.
After a past campaign marked by the pandemic and inclement weather, producers have high hopes for the harvest that starts on April 14, a week earlier than in the two previous campaigns. The first cherries collected were taken to the facilities of the Valle del Jerte Cooperative Association.
The first day of harvest is always highly anticipated by farmers and cooperative workers, and the first boxes are arriving little by little. The initial volumes are usually destined for the national market, but on this occasion, the cherries that arrive in these first days will be delivered to the essential groups that made it possible for the Jerte cherries to reach many destinations in Spain and in Europe in the last campaign, despite the threat of the virus.
With this gesture, the cherry sector wants to thank and acknowledge the essential groups' work in the pandemic, and demand that these essential and strategic personnel be vaccinated soon to protect them.
The volumes collected will increase little by little in these first days. According to expectations, in about two weeks there will be enough volume to start exporting. The United Kingdom and Germany, two of the main customers of the Jerte cherry, are already waiting for them. This will be the first year in which they are exported to the United Kingdom as a third country, a circumstance that will increase export costs.
The cherry season is the busiest time in the Jerte Valley. This fruit is the economic engine of the region, and harvesting it requires a large amount of labor, both in the field and in the facilities of the Cooperative Association, which can employ nearly 1,200 people directly during the peak of the campaign.
There are good expectations for the campaign in terms of volume and quality. According to these expectations, the campaign will last until mid-July or early August and end with the harvest of the Picota del Jerte, the most coveted cherry variety.
For more information:
Agrupación de Cooperativas Valle del Jerte
Ctra. Nacional 110, km 381
10614 Valdastillas, Cáceres (España)