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“We’d like to keep our status as it is with the U.K.”

Gregal has had a subsidiary in the United Kingdom for two decades now and this is also one of the company’s important markets.

Fruit Today talked to Felipe López, manager of the company from Murcia, who hopes that these negotiations do not end up in a “Hard Brexit” and that ‘similar agreements’ to the current ones are reached.

How are you facing up to the uncertainty of Brexit?

The United Kingdom is one of our main buyers; in fact, we have had a subsidiary here for over 20 years, Gregal UK.

Now, with Brexit already started, there are many unknown factors that should be cleared up in the short-medium term; but we trust that the parties obtain some trade agreements that guarantee a status that is similar to the current one, without the uncertainty of the currency and that allows us to continue selling to a country that has over 65 million inhabitants and an important tradition of consumption.

Are you thinking of alternative markets in the case of any possible duties being established?

We are not contemplating this circumstance as it would be a significant problem. We should not forget that the Russian embargo is still in force and there are not many more alternative markets because we deal in perishable goods.

Gregal is one of the largest producers in the Galia world. What volume was reached during the last campaign? And how do you see the start of this one?

Indeed, we are one of the largest, if not the largest Galia melon producer, with over 23,000 tonnes processed in just 4 summer months.

We are ready for the start of the season and we hope to have good weather in Europe, the main destination of our melons, since this is essential to motivate consumption and provide a continuous market for the production.

What future trends can be seen for the varieties with which you work? I am referring to the problem of the ‘long life’ Galia and their ‘replacement’ by Charentais.

The market is not trying to replace the Galia melon with the Charentais, but rather it is seeking aroma, flavour… and the truth is that in recent years seed varieties have been promoted that give greater agronomic yield, greater resistance to pests, improved colour and outer appearance, but that have pushed aside the most important point, which is to satisfy customers so that they buy the fruit again. At Gregal we have not neglected this premise, since we use traditional, semi-traditional and semi-longlife varieties throughout the campaign, giving priority to quality and flavour over production.

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