For the third year running, production figures continue to be high and the current harvest will also be the third highest over the last decade, partly due to the increase in production surface area. The steps taken to face up to the country’s drought, which has affected the different production areas, and the high temperatures are both marking this year’s campaign, although the producers from Gerona trust that the produce will be good-sized and with high quality.
Poma de Girona’s production is very relevant in the Catalan and Spanish areas. It represents 33% of the Catalan production and almost 20% of the Spanish production, as 1 out of every 5 apples produced in Spain is from Gerona.
The Gala variety, the first to be harvested, has benefitted from the drop in night-time temperatures during the last days prior to the harvest, which has helped the colour to develop.
Poma de Girona grows four varieties. Golden heads the production with 31,740 tonnes, followed by Gala, which almost reaches 20,000 tonnes, Granny Smith with 14,390 tonnes and the red varieties, which represent round 6,000 tonnes. They also grow other varieties such as Fuji, with 7,800 tonnes, and Cripps Pink with 6,800.
Jaume Armengol, Chairman of Poma de Girona affirms that “there is always a certain amount of optimism at the start of the harvest, but, “there is also the underlying concern about the total development of the campaign, which is very long.”
In order to face up to the drought, in recent years producers have opted for converting to drip irrigation and to programming of irrigation systems based on sensors, using Giroreg. During this campaign, as a pro-active step to the drought, a more intense and precise thinning of the apples than normal has been carried out, allowing the trees to bear less fruit, but with improved calibre and quality.
Joan Bonany, Director of the IRTA-Mas Badia affirms that “in spite of the climatic and hydrological drought conditions, good quality apples with high sweetness levels are expected, with medium fruit calibre. The scientist explains that “although the temperatures have been high, they haven’t reached the levels of 2022 and even so, the high temperatures have helped control fungal diseases.”
Poma de Girona is made up of 78 apple-producing families, forming part of the companies Girona Fruits, Giropoma Costa Brava and Fructícola Empordà, with a total of 1,900 productive hectares over the regions of Baix Empordà, Alt Empordà, la Selva and el Gironés.
Proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees mean that the plantations enjoy a privileged climate. Additionally, Poma de Girona’s produce is well-known internationally for its quality, safety, trust-worthiness and sustainability. The producers are highly qualified fruit growers who use integrated production techniques that are environmentally-friendly, responsible and sustainable. They also carry out strict quality controls and implant traceability systems.