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Benoît Maillard-Guillon, Ets Meseguer

Start of the campaign of apricots from Murcia

Ets Meseguer started selling apricots from Murcia last week, alongside citrus fruits. The campaign could have started two and a half weeks ago if the quality, a key criterion for Ets Meseguer, had matched the company's expectations.

An early campaign compared with a traditional season
"Unlike other years, the peaches and nectarines arrived very early this year, 2 to 3 weeks ahead of schedule. The apricots arrived a week and a half ahead of very early varieties, while traditional varieties arrived a few days earlier than in a normal season. This is due to the warm spring in Spain," explains Benoît Maillard-Guillon of Ets Meseguer.

Early season varieties are more difficult to work with
According to the stone fruit and citrus fruit specialist, many efforts have been made in recent years in favor of more flavorful apricot varieties. It is at the start of the season that particular attention needs to be paid to offering tasty apricots. "The days when consumers favored the appearance of apricots over their taste are over. French consumers are now more interested in taste and fragrance. Nursery growers have made great efforts to offer our growers new varieties in line with this trend."

"As far as we are concerned, we have selected gustatory varieties with a real apricot taste. Many early varieties have a very colorful appearance. They are very firm but rarely have a good apricot flavor. At the start of the season, varieties are very hard to work with to obtain the expected taste quality. It is difficult to calculate with precision the time at which the apricot should be picked, in relation with the time it will reach the shelves and then the consumer. Working with early apricots is different than working with mid-season varieties."

Choosing the right sales outlet for each variety
Another challenge with these early varieties, which will ripen after picking, is that ripening may be affected by the temperature at which they are presented at the point of sale. "Some varieties are better adapted for supermarkets as they do well in a warmer environment, while others ripen better in open-air markets. At the start of the campaign, it is essential to have the right variety for each point of sale. When an apricot ripens, it can rot very quickly, so we really target the varieties by type of client."

The campaign is qualitative so far, but slightly "frustrating" in terms of volumes sold. "We advocate quality, represented by our Anabella and Ciruelo brands. We could have sold a lot more by now, but in order to keep this promise of taste, we work on very small volumes, which we hope will evolve rapidly."

For more information:
Ets Meseguer
Benoît Maillard-Guillon
Phone: +33 146 864 170
[email protected]

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