The Region leads Spain’s production of table grape, which is second to lemon in terms of export value, reaching €186.6 million and 95,750 tonnes in 2016. These figures undoubtedly reflect the work being carried out by the sector to be at the vanguard in terms of seedless and traditional varieties as well, thanks to their renewal scheme. The firm Frutas Esther is an example of it, as it has a transformation programme to introduce new varieties with higher organoleptic guarantees in their 250 hectares of farmland within five years (now they are on the second).
‘Consumers have more alternatives on the shelf and we must be selective and offer better produce, regarding looking and flavour; we are aware of that and for that reason we work to adapt’, stated Frutas Esther’s manager, Gerardo Gómez, on the matter.
This variety renewal has made the company’s volume to increase, with grape now representing 20% plus of the total production, and is being of help to increase exports, as this product meets present demands.
The aim now in terms of exports is to make progress in the negotiation of the table grape protocol with China, and to reach other destinations like Vietnam and Indonesia, where there are a huge amount of potential consumers. ‘These are countries without competition from local produce, and whose consumers prefer imports given the higher guarantees regarding phytosanitary residues’, explained sources from the company.
Frutas Esther knows this market well, mostly because they have an office in Kent county. To the firm, Brexit is affecting trade but just to the extent of the devaluation of the Pound Sterling from €1.30 to €1.08, as a consequence of the doubts generated by the situation; but the market’s trust remains the same. ‘The problem in England is the fierce competition between big distribution chains, which generate certain pressure on downward prices’, stated the manager.