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This year, SAT UPCO will market its limes under the brand "Parcs Naturals de la Comunitat Valenciana"

"Our certified natural limes reach Europe in 48-72 hours, compared to the 4 weeks needed by those from Brazil"

Limes have an interesting market in Europe that is growing year after year, with the Netherlands playing a leading role as the continent's largest importer (last season, it received 90.8% of all limes purchased from third countries in the EU-27), and Brazil as the main non-EU supplier. In fact, this country supplied 72.8% of the nearly 153,000 tons of limes imported from overseas in Europe in the 2022/23 season, according to data from the European Commission.

However, locally produced limes with a low carbon footprint are also available on the continent, including a certified natural product from the Valencian SAT Unió de Productors de Cítrics de Oliva (UPCO).

Starting from the 2024/25 campaign, which will kick off in early August, it will be possible for the limes grown by this SAT in the municipality of Oliva, which has more than 130 citrus producer members, to use the Parcs Naturals de la Comunitat Valenciana brand;
a quality label awarded to products obtained within the socioeconomic area of influence of the Natural Parks of the Region of Valencia.

"Limes are not under the umbrella of the Cítricos Valencianos brand, but given our location in the Marjal of Pego-Oliva, we decided to obtain this label that guarantees our products are grown naturally, and sets us apart from overseas fruit," says Salvador Llorca.

"We handle the product without any post-harvest treatments, which requires us to harvest almost on demand. With the fruit that goes to cocktail making or to the gastronomic sector, where the skin is used directly, we avoid using any substances that could be ingested by consumers. This is highly appreciated by the customers who have already tried our limes, both in Spain, where we ship a lot to the Balearic Islands, and in European countries like France."

Antonio Fuster together with Salvador Llorca.

"Another factor that sets our limes apart is their freshness," says Salvador. "From the moment the fruit is harvested until it arrives, for example, in Paris, no more than 48-72 hours have passed, compared to the 4 weeks needed for Brazilian limes to reach the Netherlands, to which you must add the time required for their distribution across Europe. In fact, since the end of July, customers have been asking us when they'll be able to buy Spanish limes and stop getting imports from Brazil."

"This year, we are going to enter the market a little earlier than in previous years with very good quality limes"
It should be noted that, in general, small-scale farming dominates the agricultural operations in the Region of Valencia, particularly in the Marjal de Pego-Oliva, so it is essential for producers to join forces in cooperatives or SATs in order to be in a stronger position for the marketing of their productions. "In the case of limes, of which we grow about 5 million kilos, we pack the product ourselves and, with this project, we are enthusiastically aiming for something that is very important to us: trying to make a living from food supply and protect our way of life, which is also helping preserve the landscape of our region."

"This year, we are going to have larger volumes, and since we keep improving our knowledge and refining our techniques to achieve better sizes and earliness, we are managing to enter the market a little earlier than in previous years with very good quality limes. The flowering and setting of the limes have been very good, and we are truly excited about the campaign that is going to start in just a couple of months," says Salvador.

For more information:
Sat 644 CV Unió Productors Cítrics Oliva
P.º Alcalde Juan Sancho, 2, 1.º A
46780 Oliva, Valencia. Spain
Tel.: +34 659 84 69 95 / +34 696 41 13 26
[email protected]

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