13 Apr 2024

Huelva has already exported 35% of its strawberries, the point of the season with Freshuelva


Rafael Domínguez Guillén, CEO of Freshuelva "Spring is an ally of strawberry consumption" Currently, the strawberry season is in full swing in Huelva. The raspberry and blueberry campaigns are also underway. The 2022/23 season concluded with a production of 243,000 tons of strawberries, 47,750 tons of raspberries, and 53,190 tons of blueberries. 

This year, the cultivated area for berry fruits has decreased by 5%, totaling 11,802 hectares. April will be, as every year, a key month for the sector. 

Fruchthandel Magazin spoke with Rafael Domínguez Guillén, CEO of Freshuelva, about the current situation.

Mr. Domínguez, how is the strawberry season 2023/24 developing in Huelva? 

So far (week 13), we have already reached 35% of the entire campaign. The first part has been positive in terms of marketing. It is worth noting Valentine's Day, with a significant increase in demand both in Spain and in the rest of Western Europe. Thanks to this positive aspect, we are relatively optimistic for the months to come, as spring favors strawberry consumption, and the fruits offered by Huelva meet consumers' taste expectations.

What is the current situation of production? 

Currently, we have larger quantities of strawberries because the production rhythm is very high. Meteorologically, the recent rains have been very positive in view of the upcoming berry campaign, as they have increased the water reserves of the dams. On the other hand, the high humidity in the current fruit ripening process is not favorable.

What is the current quality? 

Currently, the fruits are at one of their best moments, with more hours of light during the day, and they have excellent color, quality, and flavor.

How is the marketing going? 

About 80% of the production is destined for export. Now it is necessary for consumption in our reference markets in Europe to keep pace with the current strawberry supply. We expect important sales weeks, and we hope for a reaction and an increase in demand.

What are the current prices of strawberries? 

Current data show a decrease in the origin price, which is at levels similar to the average of previous campaigns at this time. We hope the price will increase soon. The arrival of higher temperatures will have a positive impact on strawberry consumption, which should be reflected in prices.

By the end of March, Huelva has already reached 35% of the volume of the entire campaign. The first part of the marketing, according to Freshuelva, has gone well.

The 2022/23 season concluded with a production of 47,750 tons of raspberries and 53,190 tons of blueberries. What are the sector's expectations for April? April is a decisive month with traditionally the highest production volumes of the season. They could represent between 35% and 40% of the entire marketing volume.

How is the raspberry season progressing? 

Currently, raspberry prices are stable despite the stagnant supply. We need to wait for the development of demand in April to draw a conclusion. Currently, we are at about 50% of the quantities expected for this season. The months of April and especially May are the peak of the campaign, which can last until July.

What can you tell us currently about blueberries? 

Currently, the season is at a similar level to that of the previous campaign. Currently, we are at just over 10% of marketing. Although the supply is increasing, origin prices are stable. Additionally, the international supply is insufficient, and we benefit from this. The peak of the campaign, which can last until the end of July if the weather permits, is in the months of April, May, and the first weeks of June.

What are the main markets for berry fruits from Huelva? 

As mentioned earlier, about 80% of the production is exported, mainly to Western Europe. Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Central European countries are the main reference markets.

Food safety remains a key factor... Yes, strawberries from Huelva have all possible certifications, mainly GLOBALG.A.P. Additionally, they undergo rigorous hygiene controls both in the fields and in the warehouses, ensuring 100% food safety.

Source: Fruchthandel

Image by artbutenkov on Freepik

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