The dire results of the 2021/2022 cauliflower campaign have discouraged Murcia and Alicante farmers from planting this product for the coming season, which will begin in a few weeks. The area used for broccoli will also be significantly reduced due to the lack of water and arable land.
"According to verified data, the area planted with cauliflower in the 2022/2023 campaign decreased to only a third of what was planted in the past campaign," stated Nacho Domenech, CEO of the Murcian company Agromark. "The main cause for this decrease is the catastrophic economic results farmers had in the previous season, a season in which -in most cases- sales prices did not cover production costs."
In this campaign, there has also been a significant reduction in the area devoted to broccoli, one of the main vegetables produced in Murcia and southern Alicante, due, among other factors, to the limitation of water and arable land, Domenech stated.
According to Agromark's CEO, “we have better commercial expectations than last year. In the absence of supply pressure, if demand continues this campaign and inflation does not hit consumers' pockets hard, we might have better acceptable prices. In addition, we expect it will be a cold winter, which is always beneficial for the demand for brassicas."
As in the previous year, the main subject will be to pass on production and handling costs -which have increased by between 35 and 40%-to sales prices. “Last year caught us by surprise, as we had already scheduled our plantations and sales with our customers. This year there are better forecasts because we have been able to better prepare ourselves. In fact, we have carried out the installation of solar panels to be more self-sufficient and mitigate the costs of energy," stated Nacho Domenech.
“This year, practically everything that has been planted has already been negotiated with big chains. Almost no one is going to work in the spot market and there will be little room for fooling around since the increase in fixed costs affects us all. Anyone who wants to get Spanish broccoli and cauliflower will have to pay the price that they're worth since the margins for producers and marketers are very slim," he stated.
The brassicas' autumn/winter season, which is mainly directed at exports, is expected to start with significant volumes in mid-October, as northern European productions will end ahead of time, as will the Spanish summer productions, which are affected by heat waves.
Agromark will once again exhibit at Fruit Attraction (booth 7E01) in Madrid this year, where it will launch its line of 5th range products under the 'Oh Greens' brand, which will include broccoli cream, broccoli-guacamole, and broccoli hummus. "We want to diversify our product catalog by taking advantage of the broccoli that we discard for fresh marketing and thus give it added value," stated Nacho Domenech.
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