It is just a few days before the protocol will be signed for exporting grapes from Spain to Thailand. Everything is ready, and in July a Thai delegation will visit our country to discover the production on site. “We have high expectations for this country, not only because it will be a good market for grapes from Murcia, but because there is the added benefit that a trade fair of the standing of Asia Fruit Logistica is held there. It is a capital event, which is used as a showcase for fruit from Murcia in that part of the continent,” Joaquín Gómez, Manager of Apoexpa affirms.
Seedless varieties continue to rise
Spain is the leader in seedless varieties. Murcia brings together the main cutting-edge companies in Europe, with a potential of over 300,000 tonnes.
Italy, another important producer, which up to now had been lagging behind somewhat in seedless varieties has stepped on the gas and has started its conversion. “However, it is not a subject that concerns us because we continue maintaining the leadership in very strong varieties and the consumption of seedless grapes around the world has high growth rates and it is between the third and fourth product with the greatest demand.”
“What really concerns the production areas, and we highlighted this at the Spanish-Portuguese-French Committee, was the instability in which the European fields are engulfed due to the lack of plant protection products to tackle some of the pests that are preventing us from gaining better yields. When a product is eliminated, there is no replacement for it. Our three countries maintain unanimous criteria against this problem that remains unsolved,” the executive comments.
Regarding another bastion of the association, stone fruit, Gómez affirms that “what is happening in the relations between production and the large supermarkets is stifling us. Not even in a year like this one, where Spanish production has dropped the most for decades, the distribution understands that the prices they are paying do not guarantee the profitability of the companies. All of this, within a scenario, where the rise in costs is over 30% for some inputs.”
Gómez gives some surreal examples: hundreds of lorries have not been loaded due to a lack of produce and even with this, the distribution is marking the price of the produce. “I foresee that if we are not capable of making ourselves heard and imposing the logic of supply and demand, with products as perishable as ours, the fruit-growing world will come to a bad end.”
After Thailand, Dubai could be the next country to form part of the cast of third countries with authorised export protocol.