"We are in the middle of the campaign. It's the end of the autumn-winter cycle, in which the cucumber and zucchini cycle ends. The cycle, however, is ending a little early. This is happening because the crops of October, November, and December developed very fast," stated Andres Gongora, the secretary general of Coag-Almería, at the gates of his greenhouse in San Isidro.
"The year ended badly. In the first three months of autumn, prices were lower than what producers needed in a year in which production costs increased by 40%," he stated, adding that things started to change since Christmas, especially in some crops, like tomato, which he grows. "Things have improved considerably since the beginning of the year. Prices have gone up a bit. Tomato prices, which were the worst, have improved. However, they're still not as good as they were in the winter of last year."
"It's been a tough year, weird in every way. According to forecasts, it was going to be an excellent year because Central Europe was not going to have production. But that wasn't the case. Demand has been very slow, the purchase of fruits and vegetables has been low, and Europe has had production practically until December 15," Gongora stated.
The problem that many farmers are going to encounter now that prices are going up is that production is going to decrease. "Production in autumn has been very high, with very strong peaks. The product matured very quickly. It grew very quickly, so there was a high production volume," Andres Gongora stated, adding that there would be very little production from now on: "The plants are empty and, especially in February, there will be a production gap in cucumbers, zucchini, and eggplant. Not so much in tomatoes, as they can still produce more."