The broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and artichoke summer campaign is coming to a close in Spain, and, shortly, the planting of seeds for the autumn and winter campaign will start in the southeast, a more export-oriented area (Europe's main producing area).
"The summer campaign has been marked by high temperatures and drought during the months of June, July and August," says Juan Marín, manager of the Murcian company Campo de Lorca, known for its Cricket brand. "The plants have suffered due to the lack of water available, which has caused yields to be lower than usual. Consequently, prices have climbed above those of last season."
In a few days, Fruit Attraction will bring together Spanish producers with all national and international chains and facilitate the planning of the new autumn and winter campaign, which runs from October to May.
"There appears to be widespread pessimism about the winter season, due to the water shortage, which has been aggravated by the cuts in the Tagus-Segura water transfer approved earlier this year," says Juan Marín. "However, at Cricket we have worked to ensure the recovery of the production volumes and managed to supply the same amount of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and artichokes as last year."
To achieve this, the company has diversified its production areas. "We have strengthened our presence in areas outside the Region of Murcia that have enough water, and this will help us ensure the production and supply. After more than 30 years of experience, we cannot stand idly by and say that the drought situation in Murcia is inescapable. It is our responsibility to find solutions," says Cricket's manager.
"Fortunately, the latest rains will give us a small boost for the start of the campaign in Murcia. Thanks to the Águilas desalination plant and to other resources, the company will have a sufficient water supply in the Guadalentín Valley," he says.
According to Juan Marín, while production costs remain high, they have stabilized and even dropped slightly over the last 6 months for inputs such as energy, fuel or packaging, although he warns that "time is still needed for there to be a sustainable transition to the model proposed by the European "From Farm to Fork" plan. We have access to fewer resources to remain productive and competitive."