The weather is once again having an impact on southern Spain's carrot harvest, as unusually high temperatures for this time of the year are negatively affecting both quality and price.
"The last couple of seasons, October and November have been too warm, but this year there is also more rainfall, which makes things worse, because it favours the proliferation of plant diseases, forcing us to use more fungicides," explains Juan Manuel Rodríguez, president of Frusana SCA.
According to Juan Manuel, the campaign last year is considered the worst in history and finished prematurely due to oversupply and lack of demand, both in the domestic and the export market.
"Our campaign is designed to complement the productions of other European origins, but high temperatures in major European countries led to market overlap and the impossibility to export; a situation worsened by the fact that nearly 80% of Andalusia's carrots are exported," he says.
"We believe the situation will stabilise this year despite the weather, because producers have diversified and planted fewer carrots, with a stronger focus on sweet potatoes; a booming crop with more profitable prices as a result of the steady increase in consumption," affirms Juan Manuel Rodríguez. "We used to market sweet potatoes only in Spain, and now we distribute them also in the UK, Germany, France, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia."
In Spain, the carrot harvest season lasts from October to June and takes place mostly in Andalusia, especially Cadiz and Seville, and in Castile-León during the summer. Andalusia alone cultivates around 3,000 hectares per year, with a production of approximately 150,000 tonnes.
Based in San Lucar de Barrameda, Cadiz, Frusana owns more than 550 hectares, where it alternately grows sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, leek and flowers. At the moment it is harvesting carrots, beets and sweet potatoes, and expects to start the leek season in late December.
"We market the carrots with leaf in bunches, which in addition to providing value added in terms of freshness over conventional carrots, also makes them even more sensitive to high temperatures," he explains. "These are carrot varieties with a fine, long, root and very uniform leaves."
"We work with almost every supermarket chain at a national and European level, packing the product as orders arrive, i.e. selling it on the same day it is harvested, because it is too fragile to keep in cold storage and must be consumed five or six days after it is sold, while conventional carrots with leaves can easily be kept for three to four weeks," continues Juan Manuel.
The company markets its carrots mainly under the FRUSANA brand in flow pack packaging (which results in greater shelf life), wooden boxes and Europoole Ifco, especially for supermarket chains, with small twelve unit formats.
For more information:
Juan Manuel RodríguezFrusana S.C.A
S/N 11540 Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Cadiz, Spain
T: +34 956 360 231+34 956 360 firstname.lastname@example.org