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Spain: Vega Baja artichoke production exceeds 25,000 tonnes

Actor Pedro Casablanc, which currently plays the role of Juan Rueda in the Spanish TV series "Mar de plástico" ("Sea of plastic"), has been asked to kick off the 2015/2016 artichoke campaign in Vega Baja with a symbolic act: the harvest of the first artichoke of the season in an orchard in the municipality of Catral, Alicante.

The president of the Vega Baja del Segura Artichoke Association, Diego Martínez, thanked Pedro Casablanc for his presence and support for horticultural products and added that the region's artichoke campaign starts with "good prospects."

"We expect a quality campaign and we have high hopes for it because we started the season with one of the best figures of recent years."

In this regard, Martínez has stated that the acreage has increased by 16% this year due to the crop's profitability, the good data recorded in the previous campaign and the promotional activities being carried by the quality brand.

Thus, the region has about 1,800 hectares of artichokes, 200 of them new, and it is estimated that production will grow by 7%, exceeding 25,000 tonnes.

The Vega Baja consequently establishes its position as the Region of Valencia's main artichoke producing area, as well as the second largest nationwide and one of the major exporters.

The president of the association notes that "we are filled with optimism and motivated to continue working to promote the artichokes of the Vega Baja, highlighting their quality, boosting consumption and adding value to this crop."

Martínez has also called for "more support and for companies, institutions and municipalities that have yet to join the association to do so, so that the project can continue to grow."

"Supporting the artichoke brand Vega Baja helps promote a product that is closely linked to this land's identity and is also at the heart of a strategic industry for the region," states Martínez, who was convinced that "artichokes are the crop of the future, able to stimulate the sector and sustain the growth of the Vega Baja."

The president of the Vega Baja Artichoke Association has also asked "everyone to work together to solve, once and for all, the problems that this region of Southern Alicante has traditionally suffered with the impact of drought."

Vega Baja artichokes in schools
The president of the Vega Baja del Segura Artichoke announced that this year there will again be a school campaign in order to "promote this important crop, as well as healthy eating habits, amongst children."

Other objectives are to maintain a closer relationship with the gastronomic industry, to promote initiatives related to the healthy properties of this vegetable, to bring the brand to a greater number of outlets and to continue promoting and contributing to actions to increase consumption of artichokes in Spain.

For his part, the mayor of Catral, Pedro Zaplana, said that "it is an honour for us that the ceremony to inaugurate the Vega Baja artichoke campaign has been held in our town." He added that "Pedro Casablanc is an exceptionally suitable person to promote the artichokes grown in Vega Baja and I'm sure he will do a great job."

Vega Baja del Segura Artichoke Association
The Vega Baja del Segura Artichoke Association was created in 2011 with the goal of adding value to the crop through the creation of a brand that would guarantee the quality of these vegetables, as well as to develop campaigns to promote the product and encourage consumption.
Fifteen companies from the Vega Baja, as well as a dozen municipalities in the region, are currently part of this project.

Furthermore, the quality brand of the Vega Baja Artichoke also belongs to the Artichoke Association of Spain.

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