Good prospects Spanish citrus season

To Dutch fruit company Wilkofruit Spain is an important producer of citrus. But other suppliers of citrus are on the move. An increasing amount is imported from places like Morocco, Turkey, Egypt and Greece. Can Spain still hold its own?

Yes, says Wilko van der Zwaard of Wilkofruit. “60% of the turnover comes from Spain. We import the brands Primor, La Roya, Gaudias, Imperial Gold, Royo Fruits and Frutaria, of which Gaudias and Imperial Gold are the major brands. All brands are packed in various packing stations. Within Spain, there’s some shifting going on. Valencia used to be the place to get your oranges, now it’s the Seville and Huelva provinces in Andalusia.”

The mandarins of Wilkofruit all come (with the exception of the early and special species of Seville and Huelva) from Castellon. "This is really a mandarin area. In contrast, Valencia sees more and more abandoned plantations, because unfortunately the growers can no longer make ends meet.”

But what about places like Morocco? Wilkofruit also imports produce from Morocco, Turkey and Egypt. “It’s true that more and more citrus stem from plantations in these countries,” Wilko admits. But he is steadfast that the Spanish citrus are the best. “It remains a matter of taste, but if I have to choose for myself, I find the Spanish orange still the best there is. And I know my oranges! I dare say I can distinguish between all varieties and flavours. You see the passion and interest for the product decrease more and more, while the passion is how you distinguish yourself on the market.”

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