Up until November, Spanish consumers will have access to a wide range of summer berries from Segovia in Spanish greengrocers and supermarkets. El Pinar, the pioneering company in the cultivation of summer strawberries in the province and the largest producer of summer strawberries in Spain, is already selling the strawberries grown in its various fields in the province of Segovia.
"We started in late May with the strawberries and our campaign is now in full swing, with significant daily volumes. We are also working with other berries, such as raspberries, with which we started this past week," says Jimmy Esteban, commercial director of the company. In addition to growing plants as a nursery for 42 years, El Pinar is devoted to the production of berries. "We produce raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, currants and physalis, but strawberries are the most important during the summer period here in Segovia. We produce them on an area of just over 60 hectares."
The Segovian strawberries -as well as the Central European ones- take over from Huelva's productions, offering continuity in the supply of this fruit until autumn. "During the first weeks, there is some overlap with the last batches of Huelva's strawberries, making it more difficult to distinguish one origin from the other in the market. At this time, we are managing to start differentiating ourselves from Huelva, and people are also starting to talk about Segovia's strawberries," says Jimmy. "It is a fruit that really stands out from the one produced in southern Spain. The varieties are different. These are day-neutral and have been adapted to the area after years of research. The fruit has a deep red color, is heart-shaped, and above all, it has a very sweet flavor."
The company plans to increase its berry production this year. The fruit is grown on some 150 hectares spread between its farms in Segovia and in Alentejo, Portugal. "Last year we produced a total of 4,600,000 kilos of berries, and this year we are going to reach around 5,200,000 kilos. This increase will be mainly to thank to the Segovia strawberry," says Jimmy.
We are working to ensure that the production is sustainable and environmentally-friendly. All our production is grown in hydroponic systems, which allows us to use the exact amount of water and fertilizers that the plants need. We also use biological control for pest control in all our fields, thus minimizing the use of pesticides. Thirty percent of our production is organic and we market it under our BeOrganic brand. "All this helps us to offer a very attractive product to the customers, in line with current demands."
As a great novelty, El Pinar has launched a new brand this year under which it will market its summer berries, which it has been cultivating for more than 20 years, consolidating a new communication strategy with its customers: muMU.
"The berries marketed under our new brand have been very well received. At the production level, we already had great strength, but at the marketing and brand level, we did not have much visibility. With the muMU brand, people are starting to identify us more and more. Our goal is to consolidate our position in large-scale distribution, but without losing sight of wholesalers and local retail networks. Also, this year the company will offer a new online sales service for its fruits. The platform is practically set up and ready to go live in the next few weeks on the muMU website," says Jimmy.