“The production, quality, consumption, and price expectations we had for the campaign that just ended were great. However, as we feared years ago, Egypt has become a new competitor with its late oranges. It burst into the market early, back in February, and it flooded Europe with a production that has already surpassed Spain's production and at lower prices than the Spanish product due to their lower production costs,” stated Manuel Altava, 2nd vice president of Asaja Sevilla.
"This slowed down sales at the end of the campaign as well as the harvest, complicating closing deals, honoring agreements, maintaining the quality of the fruit, and ensuring next season's production."
“However, we should feel proud. Our sector has managed to get ahead in these two campaigns, which were marked by so many new adversities as well as the series of challenges that we have been facing for the last decade,” Altava stated.
“At the end of this campaign, we feel, more intensely than ever, that this is the end of an era. It's becoming more and more clear that the farmers' days are numbered. They either become agricultural entrepreneurs or they'll hardly be able to meet the increasingly numerous complicated requirements imposed by: a more complex CAP; an increasingly rigorous distribution that is harder to serve; an administration that is more vigilant and more difficult to cope with; an increasingly demanding clientele that is harder to satisfy; increasingly burdensome costs; and a more extreme climate. In addition, since it seems there is less and less common sense by the day, everything is harder to understand.”
“We are now immersed in the peach and nectarine harvest. These crops are disappearing in the Vega del Guadalquivir as tobacco or asparagus did before. I can't help but compare this time with the days, 40 years ago, when I would wake up early on the weekends to load our trucks with fruits with my father."
"A lot has happened since then. We have managed to do in 40 years what 'more advanced' countries have been doing for a longer time. I am certain that this necessary rush, which has brought us social, technical, and technological progress, has also made us forget and detached us from an authentic way of living that now seems so far away and that many now discover as something ancestral,” Altava added.