Sales of clementines with leaf are underway at a relentless pace, with the demand in many cases outstripping the supply, despite the overall predominance of large sizes.
"The demand for clementines has been overwhelming from the start. Since the beginning of the campaign, the demand has been increasing on a daily basis, having reached the peak with the Clemenules. We have not had enough production to meet all the orders," said Jesús Cucala, Campal's sales manager. "Now, with the arrival of the Clemenules, we hope to be able to provide what's demanded from us," he added.
"We hope that, when the late varieties arrive, there will be fewer orders; however, we are convinced that they will surpass last season's, both in terms of number of kilos and value," he said, regarding the second part of the campaign.
The company, based in the Spanish municipality of Torreblanca, in the province of Castellon, expects to exceed 10,000 tons of clementines and mandarins, which are only packed with leaf. "All the clementines we market are with leaf. We have chosen to work with them this way, ensuring our customers receive the freshest fruit possible," said Jesús Cucala.
According to the firm's sales manager, the clementines have a very satisfactory quality. "We have recently started working with the Clemenules variety, whose quality is extraordinary this season thanks to some very favorable weather conditions. Unlike in other areas, which have been hit by hail."
For this reason, the overall reduction of the sizes does not seem to be a big problem. "Since the start of the clementine harvest this season, we have found that sizes have been somewhat smaller than what the market is requesting. Still, the markets appear to be generally satisfied with the sizes we are sending, as the good work and good quality of our product makes up for a small variation in sizes. However, we are looking forward to the arrival of larger varieties, such as the Leanri, an excellent variety in terms of both size and flavor."
"What helps us stand out the most, compared to the big groups, is our proximity to the producers"
Campal sells exclusively to European wholesale markets, mainly in France, Belgium, or Germany, as well as Canada. In this brand-oriented business, the firm has not noticed any impact from the formation of large sales groups in the citrus sector in recent years.
"We have not experienced any changes. We continue working in the same way, we have the same customers and our growers are the same as always. I believe that what helps us stand out the most, compared to the big groups, is our proximity to the producers. We stand next to our producers; we work side by side with them, supporting them in the process of planting and growing their trees. They are very aware that their dedication and hard work is the company's backbone; that without them, the company would have no reason to exist," said Jesús Cucala.
"Our main challenge is to supply the freshest fruit possible to all the markets we work with, and for that we need our growers. They are the ones who ensure that the fruit we harvest is of the best quality. They invest their time and money to achieve this, and the company has to make sure that the highest possible price is paid for the fruit they grow. If they produce quality, it is easier for us to achieve good results. These good results are what will generate profits that they will be able to reinvest in the following year's production. As long as our growers produce good quality, Campal will not let them down," he said.