Jesús Cucala, sales manager of Campal:

"The demand for quality clementines is very high and prices are good"

The clementine campaign is currently underway with the Clemenules variety, which has arrived with notably lower volumes and a significant price difference between the good quality lots and those of more standard quality. The fruit ripening has happened earlier than usual and late rains could take a toll in the coming days and weeks.

"We are seeing a high demand for clementines and mandarins this year; higher than we are able to cover," said Jesús Cucala, sales manager of Campos de Alcalá, better known as Campal, and located in the municipality of Torreblanca, in the north of the province of Castellon. "Every day we receive calls from new customers interested in placing orders, although the supply is lower this year due to the impact of the heat and the lack of rainfall in the summer months," he added.

"In general, this has been a difficult campaign so far due to the drop in the production, the impact of pests such as the South African cotonet, spiders and fruit flies, and the high temperatures and heavy late rains."

"Fruit flies have caused widespread quality problems in the clementine production, while the heavy rains recorded in week 45 in Castellon and Valencia could also have an impact on the fruit's skin and cause more losses, seeing how early the ripening has happened. Because of this, we are harvesting quickly, so that we can avoid such situations. Fortunately, there has been less rain in our growing areas. We are happy with the prices we are receiving. The demand for quality fruit is very high and prices are good. There is a clear difference between good and standard fruit," said Campal's sales manager.

The Castellon-based company works with around 70 producer partners and is devoted exclusively to the production and marketing of clementines and mandarins with leaf, with an annual production of between 8 and 10 million kilos, depending on the season. "For about seven years, we have been working pretty much exclusively with clementines with leaf, since the market demand for them has continued to increase over time," said Jesús.

Campal is strongly brand-oriented and works exclusively in European wholesale markets, mainly in France, Belgium, Germany, as well as Canada. "Our goal is always to ship the fruit as fresh as possible, the same day it is picked. In most cases, when shipping to European destinations, the product reaches the point of sale in around 24 to 36 hours. Moreover, when a brand's reputation is on the line, it is essential to achieve consistency in terms of quality every year and throughout the season. Customers should always be able to purchase the same product with the same characteristics, so that there will be no surprises," said the expert.

"The prospect is that there will be no Clemenules left by the end of Christmas. Although our plantations are located in later areas and we can usually supply the variety until the end of January, we expect to have finished before January 15," said Jesús Cucala. "After that, we will continue with the Sando variety, which is highly appreciated in France and Belgium, and later with the Tango and Orri."

For the time being, according to the sales representative of this firm, "we are not dealing with any competition from other origins in the markets we are targeting. Normally, at this time of year, we are already competing with Corsican produce in France, but this year we are almost alone. It is also true that the production is arriving slower in all Mediterranean countries, although it is worth recalling that those that normally export to Russia, such as Morocco and Turkey, will focus more on Europe."


For more information:
Jesús Cucala
Campos de Alcalá S.L.
Ctra. Nacional 340 km 1009
Torreblanca (Castellón). Spain
T: +34 964 150 149
M: +34 638 040 645

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