Berry producers in the province of Huelva planted berries in 11,802 hectares for the 2022/2023 campaign, i.e. 0.53% more than the 11,740 hectares devoted to berries in the previous year.
According to the data provided by the companies associated with the Association of Producers and Exporters of Strawberries and Berries of Huelva, Freshuelva, the area planted with strawberries amounts to 6,295 hectares, i.e. 2% more than the 6,167 hectares planted with strawberries in the past season.
"The high temperatures and the lack of rains during the month of October forced producers to finish the replanting of crops almost at the end of November. In some cases, it also forced producers to replant almost 20% of the crop. This will cause a delay in the harvesting of the crops that were planted in November compared to the first crops that were planted in October, and a considerable increase in the costs of planting."
The area devoted to blueberries also increased by 2%, going from 3,532 hectares in the past campaign to 3,602 this year. The current diversity of blueberry varieties allows producers to have production in December, right in time for the Christmas holidays, and to gain ground against the productions of other countries, such as Chile or Peru.
The area devoted to blackberries increased by 3%, going from 139 to 143 hectares planted. In this case, producers have incorporated new varieties that allow them to produce this fruit almost throughout the whole year.
Meanwhile, the area devoted to raspberry decreased by 7.5%, going from 1,902 hectares last year to 1,762 hectares. Raspberry is the berry that is most affected by competition from non-EU production, competing in European markets under unequal conditions, as Freshuelva has repeatedly denounced to the Spanish and European Administrations. Given the lack of profitability, many producers in Huelva have opted to grow other berries.
The berry sector is facing a new campaign riddled with uncertainties and adverse situations, especially due to the persistent drought throughout the country and the unstoppable increase in the price of energy and inputs.
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