Great offer and quality in early -season production

ciruelo sede

El Ciruelo’s new production area in Cabo de Gata is already fully operational

The proliferation of sources and, in some cases, oversupply, have brought about a difficult situation for stone fruit in recent years. José Velasco, manager of El Ciruelo, confirms that, in general, there is some instability, but “the sector is changing its direction, both regarding national production and the calendar,” and on this point, the leader company is opting for out- of-season and early crops, with harvests starting from the 15th of April in coastal areas and ending in mid-June. Three years ago they made an important invest to enlarge farms in Cabo de Gata (Almería), acquiring 200 hectares that are already fully operational and to which others that they had in Águilas and Mazarrón are added, with similar crop dates. This new crop area has many advantages: it provides precocity, fruit with high Brix levels due to the soil salinity, and an important organoleptic quality derived from the surrounding environment (in the vicinity of the Natural Park), and its desert climate, with virtually no rainfall in the spring, encourages greater production and homogeneity. During the two months that the out-of-season campaign lasts, El Ciruelo is the market reference (30,000 of the 35,000 tonnes of the fruit marketed are produced on these dates). Our goal is to give “safety and service” to the European distribution chains, Velasco points out.

At the same time, they have started broadening the extensions for other dates: Alhama and Archena in the second phase, and Abarán and Cieza for the third phase.

Variety renewal

“100% colour, higher Brix and diversity.” From the very beginning, El Ciruelo has followed a variety renewal strategy seeking out these characteristics. In flat peaches, it has allowed the company to have fruit with a high Brix “that encourages consumers to repeat their purchase” and to extend the offer by almost 2 months at the beginning of the campaign (they start on the 15th of April), reaching a total of 5 months. The apricot is another of the types that they are renewing, adding new varieties that extend the calendar and the range of flavours and other aspects related to the ‘food’.

On a structural level, this year the company is finishing the enlargement of its warehouse in Alhama, Murcia, and the installation of new machinery, doubling its size and reaching 20.000 m². In total, 6 million euros have been invested.

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