Cherry tomatoes “are no longer at all profitable.” David Caparrós, manager of Balcón de Níjar states categorically.
During the last campaign, the prices for snack tomatoes dropped again compared to the previous year. The increase in the SMI had a considerable effect on profitability. Unsurprisingly, labour costs rose by 30% between 2019 and 2020, and these make up 60% of the crop’s expenses. Covid-19 has been the last straw. For all these reasons, this campaign has seen a clear drop of around 20% in the surface area devoted to cherry tomatoes in Almeria.
David Caparrós qualified that this drop is lower in ecological crops. However, companies like his have been backing diversification for some time now, in an attempt to find more profitable alternatives. At Balcón de Níjar, the snack pepper Swite Bite has been added to the portfolio, a product that needs less labour than cherry tomatoes and with an added value that allows “more interesting” prices to be obtained. Other products that the company has been incorporating are Sweet Palermo and California peppers, aubergines, mangetout peas, mini watermelons and peas.
The company has 55 h of crops (cherry tomatoes take up 40 of them) and they forecast marketing 4 million kg including all their references, 3 million kg of which will be cherry tomatoes.