The cooperative is extending the campaign, covering more months of production.
During this year, CASI will add 440 ha of watermelons (400 in conventional and the rest in bio crops) and 30 ha of melons. Watermelons represent 12% in kilos and 23% in surface area of the total volume of fruit and vegetables that it markets. This year, as a new development, the watermelon campaign is going to be extended from April to September.
In general terms, and as a result of the coronavirus crisis, it is “risky” to define the panorama that could develop, Francisco López Martínez, Operations Manager explains. “We are attuned to everything that is happening and giving our best to guarantee quality and flavour. We follow a process where all the different elements are involved, from the Technical Department, which advises on the selection of varieties and crop-growing by our partners, to specialised cutters who supervise each farm to set the exact cutting day to obtain the best flavour.”
The national market has been characterised by large pieces. In recent years, sales in portions in supermarkets have become a trend for these formats. However, “this year, the supermarkets have stopped pre-cut sales due to Covid-19 and consumers are more attuned to what is happening, therefore we understand that at the moment they prefer whole fruit and it is likely that the trend will centre on smaller-sized fruit to cover this demand.”
At CASI, they have a wide variety of watermelons, with the highest volume being in the larger calibres such as Reina, whilst the smaller ones (Princess by CASI range) make up a third of the total “which in the near future will probably increase.” With around 1.5 kg, they are perfect for unit sales, without any handling and like Reina, they have an intense flavour that does not disappoint.