Growing the best strawberries for gourmet markets
La empresa Doñana 1998 ha patentado un sistema que usa por primera vez alveolos para envasar la fruta, aportando un plus de calidad y una mejor conservación para los clientes mas exigentes.
Strawberries packaged as if they were bonbons. A product that is grown and packaged with the necessary care for it to reach the most demanding final consumers in the best conditions and with the best taste. This is the asset of the Huelva company Doñana 1998, which patented its packaging with sockets for their super premium strawberries labelled as ‘Corazón Berry’ (berry heart in Spanish). Manuel Matos, international commercial director, explained while touring us through the company’s facilities that they have been since long ago banking on quality, on intense-flavoured varieties with after-harvest resistance, and that those efforts needed complementing with a matching packaging to protect the fruit.
The challenge now is finding markets to sell this exclusive product. Manuel Matos affirms that many companies in the sector showed interest in their patent, as strawberry is trying to gain its identity and value back.
Despite the trend in the sector of berries is cutting down the farmland devoted to strawberry in favour of other crops, this company decided to double it, as they are sure that there are still lots of possibilities for strawberry if new quality-based parameters are applied in growing. They expect to yield 3,000 to 3,2000 tonnes of strawberry this season. The best ones will be packaged in sockets and sold with the label of their super premium brand, Corazón Berry.
Varieties featuring flavour and quality
The company’s approach to varieties is clear: they seek flavour and after-harvest quality, and they get it from varieties like Fortuna, Primoris and Rociera, which they just started to work with. Juan Manuel Matos, Director of Agricultural Engineering, affirms they are already field-testing 9 more varieties in order to achieve, besides flavour and quality, sustainable plants. Farming in the surroundings of Doñana National Park, together with the norms on integrated production they apply and the demands of national and foreign markets, with even lower Maximum Residue Levels than the EU, constraint them when it comes to chose varieties.