Diversify and adapt to the rapid changes experienced by the sector are the future challenges of the cooperative from Murcia
The company, a specialist par excellence in stone fruit, is willing to consider other productions that complement their calendar for the 12 months of the year.
Without forgetting the variety renewal of their fruit trees, Thader Cieza has made an important commitment in persimmon and pomegranate productions (Mollar, Kimdong, Accor, etc), as well as going back to growing seedless grape varieties. This transformation also includes maintaining smaller crops such as pears and plums.
All of this complements the main business line: stone fruit, with a volume in a normal campaign of around 24 million kilos, and which this year has arrived almost a week early.
Regarding the forecasts for this stone fruit campaign, the manager, Carmen Salinas, explains that “this year the volume will correspond to a normal year because we expect to have the 2.5 million kilos of fruit that we lost last year due to the hail and that were really needed in the month of May.”
The earliest harvests start around the 10th of April with nectarines and peaches, to be followed by apricots and with the earliest varieties of flat peaches, which reach their peak in May.
With respect to flat peaches, the executive emphasises that “the spectacular development of flat peaches has been dearly paid for by red peaches, which they have been replacing.”
Furthermore, “although flat peaches no longer show the high profitability that they had previously, they continue to be interesting for farmers and there are important research lines in progress through Novamed, a private association of several organisations in the region that is sounding out the varieties that best adapt to the weather conditions and soils of the Region of Murcia.”
In the technological area, the cooperative carried out an important transformation of its cold rooms 2 years ago with the introduction of a cooling method based on ammonia. This year, it is the turn of a new calibration line that will improve the preparation process.
“At Thader we are very aware that changes occur very fast and, obviously, we try to keep up with them, not only in the choice of new varieties, but also with the latest technology,” the manager explains.
Salinas is very critical about what is happening in the sector: “we have done everything that was demanded of us: variety renewal, reduction of plant protection and reaching very demanding quality regulations, but we don’t give Spanish farming the importance it deserves. Consumers should know about these matters because if recycling, social responsibility or circular economics are fundamental topics for Europeans, I do not understand why the entry of productions from third countries that bring serious contamination with them is allowed. These aspects fade in the minds of the distribution companies when the question involves buying cheaper from sources that are less safe,” the executive concludes.