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Spain: TC Fruits kicks off Atlantic orange season

The 2013/2014 orange campaign finished late, about 25 days ago, for the Spanish company TC Fruits with the latest Valencia Late. "This is unusual, because normally we finish our season in late August or early September," says Cristóbal Monteagudo, manager of TC Fruits. 

Founded in 1964, TC Fruits produces its own fruits and vegetables at its plantations and packaging plants in Galicia, Huelva and Portugal, from where these are marketed, as well as from its delegation in Madrid. The company has import and export departments, shipping its products to both large retail chains and wholesale markets in Spain, the rest of Europe and overseas.

Its main products are grown in the Atlantic axis, comprising Huelva, Portugal and Galicia, where they mainly cultivate strawberries, stonefruit, citrus, mountain apples and kiwis.

"We manage to produce oranges in the peninsula almost all year round thanks to the geographic diversification of our farms, starting in Huelva and the Algarve in Portugal, where the average temperature does not exceed 30 degrees," explains Cristóbal. "However, we also import from sources such as Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa and Brazil to fill in any gaps in supply," he adds.

Right now, the new 2014/2015 citrus season is starting with the first Navelinas. "Until the end of January we expect significant volumes of Navelina, Navel Powel and Navelate oranges and prices will suffer, but on the second stage, starting in February, we believe that there will be some production shortages and the situation could be interesting." 

For its part, the mandarin season, which started about a month ago, "is turning out to be quite positive, with stable demand and reasonable prices," says Cristóbal.

TC Fruits allocates 60% of its citrus to the domestic market, while the rest is exported to Europe and overseas, to destinations like Brazil, Mozambique and Angola.

"Emerging overseas markets are interesting when their local productions are not in season, or when they are unable to supply their own markets due to any specific problems; this varies greatly depending on each season's situation. For now, it is much easier and more stable to schedule campaigns in European markets, where we compete with Turkey in Northern and Eastern Europe and with Morocco in the Southern markets," he affirms.

Cristóbal emphasises that to differentiate from its competitors, the company looks for products for which there are market shortages, with earlier and later varieties that do not overlap with competing domestic varieties. "We pursue this to ensure that supply to our customers is never interrupted. An example of this is our summer oranges, whose season has been extraordinary. We have managed to extend it until October."

TC Fruits sells about 22 million kilos of citrus per year.

For more information:
Cristóbal Monteagudo
T. (+34) 902 006 975
[email protected]
[email protected] 
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