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David Clariana, from Agrícola de Albatàrrec:

"Despite the lower production, it all points to this being a pear season with good prices"

Last March, pear producers from various parts of Spain reported a reduced flowering which affected certain varieties in different ways, and severely in some cases.

"We have already seen significant drops in the production in previous years due to frosts, but because of the severe problem we've had with the flowering and setting of some varieties, our production this year will be even lower than in the years of the frosts," says David Clariana, from the Lleida cooperative Agrícola de Albatàrrec.

"Conference, Blanquilla and Abate Fetel pears will be the most affected, with losses of up to 50% compared to a normal year, while other varieties will suffer declines of around 20%."

"Some are mentioning the water stress suffered by the trees last year, but the truth is that we still don't really know why this has happened. All pear growers have noticed this reduced flowering. I myself, who am a Conference pear grower, have seen it in my trees, and there are growers who said that they had trees with only 2 or 3 flowers."

Agrícola de Albatàrrec specializes in pear production. With an average of 14,000 tons sold, this fruit accounts for 80% of the cooperative's volume and the first harvests of Carmen and Ercolina pears of the new season will kick off in just 15 days.

"We grow practically all the varieties on the market and we are constantly testing new ones to introduce them in our range; however, in terms of volume, the most important for us are the Carmen, Ercolina, Limonera, Williams, Barlet, Blanquilla, Conference and Abate Fetel, which are almost exclusively intended for the export market," says David. "In fact, we work with almost all the European supermarkets and we also export overseas, mainly to Latin America and the Arab Emirates."

"Despite this year's drop in the production, we hope this will still be a good season once again. In general, the pear market offers great stability, as opposed to others, like the stone fruit one. There is usually a constant demand and, since it is a very technical crop, the production isn't as great as that of other fruits. Moreover, we have the great advantage of being able to store the pears for up to eight months in cold chambers and market them little by little."

"Last year we had good prices. One of our direct competitors is Italy, whose production has fallen a lot because of the problems they had with the floods, but also because of the impact of pests. And we cannot forget that Italy is also one of the main suppliers of fruit to German supermarkets. Last season, they already bought pears from us Spaniards to supply their domestic market and their European clients, and this year, with the expected drop in the production in Belgium and that in Italy, everything points to another good season with good prices."

For more information:
Agrícola d'Albatàrrec
Carretera d'Alfès s/n 25171 Albatàrrec
Lleida. Spain
Tel.:+34 973 720 301
[email protected]

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