Inflation, rising costs and a weak demand are turning the current citrus fruit campaign more difficult than predicted
Fruit Today talked to Quico Cañamás, Operations Manager from the Cañamás Group, about some of these points.
How would you qualify the current moment?
We are suffering from significant stress throughout the chain, from the fields to the preparation centres. The demand is not what we expected and this causes a resistance in the prices; in addition to the inflation that we cannot pass on.
Up to now there seems to have been some resilience by the marketing companies to bear this escalation in inflation and costs. Do you think that this can carry on or should the large retail segment assume this increase?
The current situation is complicated. It is true that in recent weeks there has been an upturn in food prices, which on the other hand, is normal for Christmastime shopping, but I sincerely don’t see any intention by the retail industry to pass on these increases in the prices of fruit and vegetables. The rise in prices is usually passed on in other supplies and fruit is usually the selling point.
The campaign is resulting tougher than expected. Do you think that the sector is in crisis?
The citrus fruit sector is not in crisis; it is the Spanish source that is in crisis. That is to say, for many years now we have clearly been losing competitiveness against other sources and this is becoming more obvious every day on the European markets, which traditionally were the stronghold of Spanish citrus fruit. Therefore, without any reciprocity against other sources, it will be difficult to find a solution.
We are seeing a series of concentrations by investment funds. What do you think about this? Could it be a feasible way out for companies?
From my point of view, in the primary sector, family-run companies do not look at the return on equity and this means that the management is different, always more long-term than other companies that work with annual profitability studies or that are more short-term in their outlook.
What does the BioDiversityGrow stamp that you have just obtained actually mean?
It is a certification on sustainable production and packaging. A step further in the advances made on the subject of environmental, economic and social sustainability that we have been developing for years. This stamp, included on the label of our products, guarantees a sustainable crop, protection of biodiversity, a healthier and more resistant production, socially responsible work and control of food wastage.