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Spanish boom in mountain apples

Nufri’s gigantic, consolidated project on its farm in La Rasa is being followed by other, smaller scale schemes, in the same line, such as the one by Fruits de Ponent

The quality of the mountain apples has always awoken interest in the producing-marketing companies. The company from Lerida, Fruits de Ponent, has just started its pilot production project in the Valle de Llobregós, a region that has been converted from dry to irrigated land thanks to irrigation from the Segarra-Garrigues canal.

During these first years, a volume of around 250 tonnes has been reached, with the goal of gradually adding more hectares and introducing the produce on the market. For this reason, the giant cooperative from Alcarràs has started up the denomination GR APPLE, a brand that is attempting to remind us of the Great Routes that cross the production area.

Sebastià Escarp, chairman of the most important stone fruit cooperative, which is now diversifying with this produce, explains that “the project arose in 2014 with collaboration by the producers from the Agraria de Llobregós cooperative, who liked the idea, and now we are starting the real consolidation phase.”

Josep Presseguer, general manager of the Group, pointed out that “the Llobregós River Valley region is absolutely perfect for this crop, because its lands are fertile and have a high concentration of organic material, which results in a flavoursome, deeply coloured fruit with a crunchy taste.”

Antonio Pujol, chairman of the ‘Asociación de Cooperación Rural para el Desarrollo’ – Rural Development Cooperation Association (ACORD), which also promotes the project, emphasised that “it is a vertical cooperation formula between companies and cooperative members that is formed as an economic engine for a rural region, with some unbeatable shots of feasibility.”

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