The origin of bagged table grape in the region dates back from the early 20th century, when a grower from the valley decided to cover his grape bunches with paper bags to protect them from pests. And not only did he achieved what he intended, but also prompted the development of ‘organoleptic properties that are unique in the world and resulted in the recognition of a namesake PDO’, as explained the chair of the Regulatory Council José Bernabeu in his speech during the event hosted on the occasion of the official start of the season last 29th August.
There, the significance of this industry was once again highlighted, as it is a cornerstone of the economy in the seven villages of the province of Alicante that concentrate production, given that it means about 9,000 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs every year. Farmland devoted to this crop extends across 2,200 plus hectares, with a registered production of over 52,000 tonnes in 2017.
‘The challenge now lies, not only on keeping the reached positioning, but also on increasing profitability for generational replacement to be ensured’, stated the Regional Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Valencian Community, Francisco Rodríguez, in his speech. To do that, many difficulties must be dealt with, such as low commercial prices, a high-tax system for the land, on-field robbery, and finally water availability.
Thus, the Regulatory Council keeps working to overcome those obstacles at the same time it collaborates in variety research and improvement of sensory quality, as well as keeps carrying out communication actions at sale centres.
The main actions scheduled for this season include different channels. From poster design or customer loyalty contests (‘Golden Bunch’), to promotion at sale centres, dissemination of multi-language brochures and recipe books, info sessions, and a deeper presence in the media.