The first Spanish kakis of the season have been arriving to the European markets this week. In general, volumes this season are expected to be lower than the productive potential due to the impact of pests.
"We are starting the kaki campaign this week with the Tone Wase and Maxim varieties, which allow us to hit the shelves earlier with a premium product. These varieties, which precede the Rojo Brillante, the dominant variety, are smaller in size, flat, tasty and very easy to eat, making them an ideal healthy snack," says Manuel Baides, Commercial Director of the Fruta de Autor group.
Interest in starting with the first kakis is high. "People are tired of summer fruit and need a change. Besides, it has been a season to forget, especially for watermelons, whose consumption has been rather low due to the cold summer in Northern Europe. Entering the market with different and tasty fruits will always be welcome among consumers. The prices of the first kakis of the season may be high, but their costs are also high, due to the high percentage of discards. The most important thing for us is to be able to extend the marketing season with a premium product," says the sales representative of this consortium.
"We are already seeing that it will be difficult to get quality mid-season clementines."
Besides kakis, citrus fruits are Fruta de Autor's most important products in the fall and winter. It markets all species and manages to supply grapefruit all year round thanks to imports from the southern hemisphere. At the end of September, the first premium clementines with leaf will start to be marketed under the "Fruta de Autor" brand.
"We are very satisfied with the results we achieved last year with our citrus fruits with leaf. We are waiting for the Orogros variety to reach the desired sizes, color and flavor to start with the premium line with leaf. At first, it seemed that the citrus season would start earlier, as the summer hasn't been a hot one, but the heat waves at the beginning of August have slowed down the coloring of the skin," says Manuel Baides. This year there will be a more limited supply of clementines. "We are already seeing that it will be difficult to get quality mid-season clementines, both because of the impact of pests and due to problems during the fruit set period.
Last year there were profitability issues in the citrus marketing sector, due to the high prices that the fruit was sold for at origin - motivated by the Covid effect of the previous year - and the pressure on purchase prices in the markets.
"The truth is that we were not affected by this situation, given that we work in the premium market niche, with fruit that perfectly met the expectations in terms of demand. In just one season of marketing Fruta de Autor, we have put ourselves at the level of the big brands in the sector in terms of quality, but at a somewhat more competitive price. To be honest, we did not have enough highly selected quality fruit for the demand we had, even though the price we were offered was high. Our brand requires an exhaustive selection process and we will always stick to that principle. This year will be similar. It will be difficult to deliver fruit at the quality levels at which we work with our brand."