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Spain is the first country in the world to sign a bilateral agreement with the Chinese giant to export stone fruit.
There has been wide media coverage and, naturally, negotiations that have lasted years deserve recognition. It is certainly true that, sometimes, necessity works wonders… and the need for a big one, Russia or China, was urgent.
At the time of writing, I am aware that a cutting-edge company is about to send its first shipments to China. That is right, but by plane.
However, when you think about China, you think about large turnovers and these travel by sea. The goods can spend up to 40 days in transit.
The question is: do we have suitable peach and nectarine varieties to withstand this journey? Institutes such as the IRTA and outstanding breeding companies recognise that this screening has not been carried out, as Chile did, and could prove to be complicated.
When Chile started exporting to the USA and China, it had to decide to eliminate more than half of its listed varieties because they did not satisfy the new commercial requirements.
Now, the search for varieties with a shelf life of more than 35 days, and suitable firmness and Brix parameters, has become a necessity that requires financing.
It is also true that there are exporters with great experience in long distances, “although exporting plums is not the same as peaches and nectarines.” And it is also true that breeders working on both sides of the Atlantic have experience with very few varieties –selected from a very wide range– that produce good results in this journey towards China.

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