Recognised for their quality, peppers from Murcia are breaking through in a campaign where the commercial window is becoming increasingly narrow
The window that Almeria traditionally left every season is becoming narrower, and it even overlaps with the production from Murcia. The favourable results that have been occurring with this produce have ended in an extension of the harvests. “This year, in the Andalusian province, there are crops sown in November and December that have started being cut in April.”
This unfavourable situation for the Region of Murcia is added to the permanent problem of water (although currently it has been momentarily resolved with the authorisation of a new water transfer operation). “There were false expectations about the decrease in crops that has not occurred, the same as happened with broccoli this winter.”
In the case of Soltir, the crop reaches around 390 hectares (the previous season this figure reached 400), of which 55% are Lamuyo and 45% California,” according to Angel García, auction manager.
“This percentage has varied in recent years because in 2017 we opted for 60% of California and 40% of Lamuyo. In the end, the important element is the average price that the farmer receives, but in any event, we want to maintain an approximate proportion of 50-50.”
In this context, during the first weeks of the campaign, the oversupply created by Almeria has caused some truly low prices at source, “which we hope will recover as the large volumes start coming onto the market and the produce from Almeria ends. It is bad enough having to compete with a country that is as technologically advanced as Holland.”
The start of one of the main national chains as a supplier with the Lamuyo has meant added value in the marketing, with average production and prices that are above those of California.
Artichokes and citrus fruits
Another of the products that traditionally has been very important in Soltir is the artichoke. However, every year its consumption drops and the profitability for farmers is, at the very least, doubtful. “Personally, I foresee an uncertain future and I think that many of the productions won’t have a second cutting.”
Citrus fruit, without any doubt, is another of the company’s basic foundations, sold direct from the fields.