Although the variety portfolio extends every year, the main part of the production is upheld, over just a few months by Clemenules and Navelina, and this situation continues.
Quico Peiró Cañamás, Operations Manager at the Cañamás Group, explained this aspect and some of the keys to this first part of the campaign to Fruit Today.
Where has the euphoria for vitamin C during the lockdown gone now?
It is true that we are in a campaign that is slightly unusual, with a slow start, without much consumption, and a tough lockdown situation throughout Europe, with the same difficulties as during the first one and, additionally, the weather conditions have not been good, because the cold weather didn’t really arrive until December.
In your opinion, how has the market behaved in this first phase of the campaign? How did it behave in the summer with the imports from the southern hemisphere?
The summer campaign is not significant enough to be able to provide a conclusive reading, as this year the produce from the southern hemisphere arrived to a completely empty market, with normal production, without any super production and with logistical problems at source that caused the produce to arrive in dribs and drabs. For all these reasons, the start of the European citrus fruit campaign was fluid, with good sizes and a good demand.
What is happening with the plentiful offer of smaller-sized fruit? Is there a lack of larger fruit and what are the demand and prices for this fruit?
This year’s reality, as we all know, involves a campaign characterised by many units, but with limited sizes regarding the autumn varieties. As a result of this, we are having to make readjustments in the sales references to the more abundant sizes, but with the good intentions and interest of the agents from the distribution chain, this won’t become a problem.
In recent years, large exporters have also become important owners. Is this your company’s case?
In our Group’s case, my family started purchasing farms as a supply strategy in the 1970s, and since then we have always kept the balance while we were growing.
Do you still affirm that Clemenules and Navelinas are varieties in crisis? What would the alternative be?
My opinion is that in a fresh fruit marketing campaign of approximately 5 million tonnes, including exports and the home market, we cannot have two varieties that market around 3 million tonnes of production in just three months. And this is the case of Clemenules and Navelina. The alternative involves adjusting the offer to the demand and therefore, avoiding imbalances.
The French market is vitally important for Cañamás; what are its special characteristics in this year of pandemic?
The French market, as with the other European markets, is subject to the turmoil caused by the pandemic we are suffering. Instability, consternation and crisis are the order of the day and the agents from the distribution chain must be cautious and defend our interests, but without losing sight of the current context.
How is the campaign being made profitable in such an unusual situation, where the costs in the fields and warehouses are sky high?
As I have already mentioned, we must ask for what we need to do a good job: being fair with our suppliers and allowing us to guarantee the working conditions for our workers, and this must also be carried out giving top service with top quality.