“The costs must be passed on, or else”

At Pozo Sur they have not changed course, advocating passing on the 50% increase that has occurred in production costs to the prices.
Juan López pozosur

“Uneasy calm.” This is how Juan López, Manager of Pozo Sur, defines the current watermelon situation. There are many fronts open: the producers continue to be “hydrologically abandoned”; inflation is galloping and costs have shot up. “We are devoted to producing healthy, natural produce, using good agricultural practices, for selling at a fair price. But the costs have increased by 50%, and we have no choice but pass this on in the price. These costs are killing us.”

Last year was atypical regarding prices and this campaign is starting off with uncertainties due to the possible effect that inflation and weather conditions could have on demand. “We never know what will happen; our programmes are based on weighted averages.”

Pozo Sur is facing the 2023 campaign with the stability it has been endorsing in recent years. Its commitment to a similar line, in accordance with the market requirements is being maintained, in the same way as its strategy for the redistribution of crop surface area. “We have balanced out virtually all our production steps. There is just a slight decrease in surface area in our earliest zone.”

Juan López is very clear that the trends for smaller-sized fruit will continue without becoming consolidated. “It is something I have been hearing since we started, over 33 years ago, and every year the trend is repeated, but it is not consolidated.”

Yes to ‘encompassing’ sustainability

In a context in which the word sustainability seeps through all the links in the chain, the news about new steps and certifications is never-ceasing. On the Global G.A.P. Tour held in March in Almeria, several supermarkets talked about the steps they are implementing on the subject of sustainability. Such as Tesco, which has announced the compulsory nature of LEAF certification for its suppliers from next year onwards. López is of the opinion that “there are few steps being implemented regarding sustainability. We are going to meet all of those we are asked for and they will have to pay the costs involved. But as we are talking about sustainability, they will have to set an example by looking for solutions for all the produce that is ‘ugly but good’. If they cannot find a market for this produce, they cannot call themselves sustainable.”

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