Armandis: “We continue to be the only seasonal fruit”

Pest control and permanence on the market are the main challenges faced by persimmons, while production volumes are being recovered after the important decrease seen last year

Fruit Today Magazine talked to Cirilo Armandis, Chairman of the DO Kaki Ribera del Xúquer, who advanced some favourable forecasts for the next campaign, taking advantage of our talk to promote a product which, after 25 years, continues to be unique on the market.

This year the DO Kaki Ribera del Xúquer is celebrating.

That is true. 25 years have passed since our company was born back in 1998. Few fruits have had such an impact on the market as the persimmon. It continues to be a seasonal fruit, 100% local, from the Valencian Community.

How are these 25 years of growth reflected on the market?

In Spain, back in 1998, the production was around 3 or 4 million kilos, and today we know that it can reach nearly 300 million kilos. And this is thanks to the continuous work on improvement in quality and our important investment in promotion. This year we will recover the foreign markets, such as Canada, and we will cover the entire European and Spanish market. And for the first time, we will export to China, the leading consumer of this fruit in the world.

Does this mean that the forecasts for the next campaign are good?

Compared to the previous campaign, yes, they are. Last year we had to leave the markets owing to the important reduction in volume that we suffered and we are now predicting that the volumes will be recovered, although the average will continue to be way below volumes from the previous 5 or 6 years. We are talking about an expected production of around 270 or 280 million kilos.

What is the current situation regarding pest control?

This year we have advanced a great deal. At present, the pests are much more controlled than in previous years and we hope that the temperatures allow us to continue with this control. Meanwhile, we are working on biological control, sexual confusion and other steps aimed at continuing to produce health, quality fruit for the market.

Do you think that the sector will see a revival?

In spite of the disenchantment caused by last year’s significantly low production, I am very confident that we are going to be able to hold out, as we have done at other times. We have a good product, with very high quality and this is something that we have to sell, defend and fight to maintain.

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