GOT TO PICK A PEPPER OR TWO
The annual pepper picking season for the Murcia region has already begun a month earlier than normal, due to the extremely mild winter and spring.
With an abundance of crops, all said to be of high quality, it is hoped that the price will be cheaper to the consumer as a result. However, cheaper prices also mean less income for the farmers, and a risk to future crops if they don´t make the sale.
To complicate matters further, the Murcia season, which normally begins in July, has now also overlapped that of Almería, resulting in considerably higher availability now than ever before.
According to Ángel García Izquierdo, from the Murcia based company Soltir, “The campaign overlaps with Almería, which still has substantial crops available, leading to oversupply, which, within an economically depressed market such as Spain’s, resulted in sharp price drops at the beginning of the campaign, especially for Lamuyo peppers.
The peppers are largely grown for the domestic market, as neighbouring European countries also have their own crops, which have also arrived early in a number of other countries.
On the other hand, bell peppers are easier to sell to the export markets according to García, but only around a quarter of their crops are of this variety, although increasing every year. “Bell peppers are easier to sell in the export markets, where we have a favourable competitive position over the Netherlands, as they have higher production costs and are also the ones setting the sale price of peppers in Europe. It is certainly a more profitable product for us. Additionally, we continue making progress year after year in terms of quality and safety and we are at a very similar level as Dutch peppers”. Currently, the bell pepper export market shows favourable returns in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The situation is not too bleak however, as last year, the company considered their campaign to have been “unbeatable”, whereas the forecast for this year is expected to be “acceptable”. From their 58,000 square metres of land in San Cayetano near to San Javier, they grow peppers and melons in the summer and broccoli and artichokes in the winter.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44129/
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