Leader in quality and recognition, SAT Royal, faithful to its experience, has started the stone fruit campaign in Spain.
The first yellow-fleshed peaches are being harvested from the fields of Huelva and, in spite of their being so early, they are reaching 11 and 12 brix. With a difference of just a few days, the first nectarines have also been harvested, which are also showing very good sizes and an exact combination of sugars.
“The exceptional circumstances that we are experiencing affect stone fruit a great deal; a sector which, in general, has seen bad results in previous campaigns. The question as to where to sell at a time and in a world that has been brought to a halt due to the closing of borders and transport difficulties is hanging over the sector. Only the large supermarkets are showing any commercial movement,” states José Gandía, general manager of Royal.
The concern could increase if the situation does not stabilise, as the volumes from May and June will necessitate an important demand, all of this in an economic panorama of crisis caused by the health alert for the coronavirus all over the world.
All activity with third countries has been stopped due to the cut down in traffic, both by air and sea and, as of today, it is unfeasible to carry out any long-distance exports.
Accordingly, it is worth emphasising that SAT Royal was one of the first companies to export stone fruit to China. Export has always been an essential cornerstone of development, both towards the European markets and to Middle Eastern countries.
In total, the company has a producing surface area of over 1,700 hectares, all over the Iberian Mainland and Morocco. Of them, 10% are used for genetic research, a keystone of the business started in the 1970s. Gandía has always been a world leader in “breeding”, with special links forged with American universities.
These relations have brought results on different lines. In stone fruit, the original ‘pluots’ stand out, a mixture of plums and apricots, obtained without any type of genetic manipulation and that have afforded the company from Seville many commercial successes.
“The truth is that stone fruit is immersed in a very marked imbalance between supply and demand. It is true that some areas have been grubbed out, but at the same time, modern varieties that are more productive are being planted and so, in the end, we continue to have too many,” the executive comments.
“We have over 1,000 hectares and a volume of 25,000 tonnes; therefore, this campaign will be decisive when considering any type of balance: if the market does not react to consumption, we will have to reduce our production. We are very concerned about the situation of the markets after the confinement and the deep crisis which, without any doubt, we are going to have to face up to,” Gandía affirms.
Today, the company continues to carry out research both in the berry category, and in stone fruit. In short, health as a business driver has become a constant goal, in which the studies on the benefits of antioxidants from fruit on people’s health stand out.