You have been immersed in grape season for several months now. Is this fruit affected by the crisis that strikes stone fruits?
Ours is another world because, whereas there are many origins and sometimes an excess of supply of stone fruits, grape supply is much more under control. It is true that the start of the season was difficult to white grapes due to the large available volumes of Egyptian grape and some remaining volumes from India, of traditional varieties and weak quality, which generated certain confusion in the markets. But once we started our season, clients threw themselves to Spain and sales sped up. It is also a matter of fact that there is a slight volume reduction in some varieties this year, which means constant demand.
Leaving the market situation aside, El Ciruelo keeps making investments to expand their farmland. How much extension are we talking?
We have two expansion projects in motion, with farmland that is already being sown. One in the north of the Region of Murcia, 200 hectares devoted to grape and late stone fruit, and another in Alhama, 600 hectares. Thanks to those new farms we will have over 1,600 ha of grape farmland and 1,400 ha of stone fruit farmland.
Breeders are working over time to provide new varieties. Do you collaborate in those researches?
Of course we do. We cooperate with every research line being developed worldwide. And we are witnessing and knowing about really interesting stuff: new materials that provide flavour, colour, resistance, productivity… Now, for example, there is a whole new world full of varieties with surprising flavours like caramel, cotton candy, lollipop, strawberry, etc. It is really beautiful and we see that our customers are highly interested in those products. As they are interested in organic grape, which we are starting to trade next year.