In 2020, Murcia exported 2.6 million tons of fruits and vegetables, including 500,000 tons of stone fruits, according to data from the Customs and Excise Department. Thus, Murcia is one of the three most important autonomous communities for this business.
Within this fruit segment, Murcia has a fruit that has been recognized with a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) thanks to its differentiated quality: the yellow peach from Cieza, in its Baby Gold 6 and Romea varieties. Both varieties obtained the IGP seal on May 2 after the application was approved in the Official State Gazette (BOE).
The ruling granted temporary national protection to both varieties of the IGP Peach de Cieza in the municipalities of Cieza, Abaran, Jumilla, and Calasparra. This seal can only be used in the national territory until it is approved by the European Commission, the last step before its internationalization.
Antonio Moya, the Councilor for Agriculture of the city council of Cieza, is one of the first activists to promote that the peaches from Cieza obtain the IGP recognition. Moya said it was a five-year process that began with the commissioning of a report to the University of Cartagena to analyze the two varieties. Two years later, the study found that the two varieties of the Cieza yellow peach have a more intense flavor, brighter color, better texture, good size, and higher Brix degrees than those grown in other geographical areas. The process to obtain the IGP seal began once they had this proof and it culminated three years later with its approval in the BOE.
Even though the recognition was only given to two of the different varieties grown in Murcia, the farmers' associations hope that it will have an impact on prices and product stability, especially after the 40% fall in peach prices, the Union de Uniones stated.
Currently, prices at origin range between 0.50 and 1.50 euro, while the prices in the destination markets, such as the United States or Germany, stand at more than 5 euro.