12 Jan 2023



In the Spanish province of Huelva, for the first time, the fruit has surpassed raspberries, which have experienced a reduction in their cultivation this season. Area increase also for blackberries, up +3%.

The planting phase of soft fruits in Huelva province shows a total planted area in the province of 11,802 hectares for the 2022/2023 season, a figure very similar to the 11,740 hectares of soft fruits planted last year, a small increase of 0.53 percent.

The Association of Strawberry and Red Fruit Producers and Exporters of Huelva, Freshuelva, has reported that, according to data provided by its member companies, the area planted with strawberries amounts to 6,295 hectares, which represents a 2 percent increase over the 6,167 hectares planted with strawberries last season.

High temperatures and lack of rain during October meant that replanting was nearly finished by the end of November, and in some cases almost 20 percent had to be replanted. This, in turn, will cause a delay in harvesting November plants compared to the first ones planted in October, as well as a significant increase in planting costs.



The same 2 percent growth was recorded by blueberry, which went from 3,532 hectares planted last season to 3,602 this year. The current diversity of varieties at blueberry allows production in December for the holiday season and market share gains over production from countries such as Chile and Peru.

This blueberries crop is consolidating its position as the second most important berry in the province after strawberries, although again it faces strong competition from outside the province, which is more pronounced in the spring months. The area devoted to blackberry also increased, in this case by 3 percent, although this means only an increase from 139 to 143 hectares planted. In this case, new varieties were included, allowing for virtually year-round production.

The most negative figure concerns the raspberry, whose planted area has also decreased for this season, this time by 7.5 percent, so 1,762 hectares will be in production compared to 1,902 last year. The raspberry is the red fruit most affected by competition from non-EU crops, which compete in European markets under unequal conditions, as Freshuelva has repeatedly complained to the Spanish and European administration. This situation has led many Huelva producers to opt for other berries, given the low profitability.

Freshuelva pointed out that these figures show that the commitment to crop diversification that has characterized the past few seasons continues, with strawberries and blueberries as the main exponents, thus ensuring the presence of Huelva berries in the markets virtually all year round.

The soft fruit sector is facing a new season plagued by uncertainties and adverse situations, mainly due to the persistent drought across the country and the relentless increase in essential costs such as energy and inputs. Added to all this is the unpredictability of the weather, which, for the time being, has already negatively affected the sector at the planting stage, mainly due to high temperatures and lack of rain.

Source: Blueberries Consulting
Blueberries Consulting is part of the global network of Italian Berry

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