The Spanish fruit-vegetable season began slightly later than last year. "But we'll soon be back on par," says Stephan van Marrewijk, who works in the commercial department of the Spanish cooperative Vicasol. "We had a scorching summer, significantly affecting the early planted crops. Fortunately, September temperatures are returning to normal, so production's going well again."
Vicasol expects almost the same volumes in its conventional segment but more from its organic one. "Our members have expanded their organically certified acreage and are even taking bio-dynamic cultivation a step further. That reflects a nice balance with nature and the environment for a sustainable future. We've consistently grown in this segment in recent years, managing to capture a large market share in the process because we can offer the complete range," says Stephan
He says there is a noticeable shift from TOV to plum tomatoes. That is driven by less waste in the chain and improved quality and shelf life. "There are also some shifts in the conventional segment from tomatoes to other fruit vegetables due to the higher Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV) risk, especially in the cherry varieties."
"Plus, the full season should start better, with less overlap with other producing countries. The weather naturally remains a big factor in this, and we hope the winter is somewhat calmer than last year. We don't want to lose setting and half of the crops during the season. But as always, I'm positive and it will be another interesting season," Stephan concludes.