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Torero: “ITUM is our alternative”

The national varieties research panel, ITUM, is bringing important feasibility to grape exporters from Murcia.

Antonio Caballero, manager of Frutas Torero, explained to Fruit Today that the end result of the table grape export campaign has clearly been favourable. Only the Crimson variety has shown some problems in size and colour.

However, on the more positive side are the varieties obtained through the important research carried out by the public-private consortium, ITUM.

The new varieties generated through in-house research will provide opportunities for a sector that has always managed to position itself as a forerunner on the world market.

“Therefore, ITUM’s 1, 4 and 5 white grape varieties are showing excellent behaviour and although their production is not yet reaching important volumes, they mean a significant incentive for exporters,” the executive explains.

“ITUM 7, 8 and 9 red varieties follow the same line of effectiveness, with a colour that is differentiated from the Crimson and with high yields. Now it might be worth beginning to consider that some of these varieties could displace the Crimson, which has been, up to now, the queen of grapes for many campaigns,” the executive maintains.

“The ITUM’s varieties provide exporters with the tools they need to compete on a market where access to certain varieties is “banned” because they are in the hand of a very few companies in Spain. In the rest of the world this doesn’t usually happen because there are more exporters for the varieties we are talking about”.

This is one of the reasons behind the importance of the research performed by ITUM for its members, since it could open the doors to very different markets, with different demands.

The dynamism of the company from Abarán, which has been in contact with Chilean producers for decades, will allow it have the first productions of a black grape of the Inia Grapes One variety, from Chile, as an alternative to the Autumn Royal, which has been the star of black grapes up to now for Frutas Torero.

The executive, who has stone fruit as the company’s second production stronghold, states that “the many hours of cold during this winter will be highly favourable for the future campaign. We have had several years where this didn’t happen, the trees did not flower correctly and the quality was not as good as was expected”.

Germany, England, South Africa, France, Italy, Austria, Scandinavia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Switzerland represent the company’s main markets in this category and the business line opened with South Africa has now been consolidated.

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