As the hot dry weather continues, retailers and wholesalers are continuing to import fresh produce, including salad and brassica crops from across Europe to fill the gaps created by UK crops.
There are reports that even farms with irrigation are struggling as temperatures in excess of 30 deg. C are stopping plants from growing. The British Leafy Salads Association has said that yields are around a quarter of normal for the time of year, while demand is up 40 per cent.
Tony Clemence of Total Produce told The Guardian that the firm was currently importing 30% of its iceberg lettuce and 40% of its celery from Spain and Poland, while the same report said that the firm’s newsletter had warned there is ‘currently no alternative country of origin available” for Tenderstem broccoli and that supplies of fine beans, mange tout and sugar snap peas were low and their quality “intermittent”.
At the same time Spanish producers have warned that they cannot meet all the gaps created by the weather which is affecting much of Northern Europe. Ginés Navarro, of Murcian salad producer Agridemur, said, “Many of the companies we work with in the winter are demanding products from us, especially spinach in the United Kingdom.
“Like most other producers of leafy vegetables in Murcia, our productions are mostly scheduled based on contracts, both in winter and in summer. It is true that there are producers that grow for the free market in winter, but in summer, practically everything is intended for the domestic market and is already programmed. That is why there is little we can do.”
Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures
The post As weather continues, Spain struggles to fill the gaps appeared first on Hort News on 23 July 2018.
The BerryWorld group has expanded its PrepWorld subsidiary to Spain, creating what it says is a fresh-cut fruit supplier with a ‘distinctly Spanish twist and flair.’
The new Valencia-based company is a joint venture with Spanish soft fruit grower and exporter Surexport Compañia Agraria. It will be headed up by general manager Pepe Morant, who has extensive experience of fresh produce in both Spain and the UK, most recently as General Manager of Del Monte Spain.
“We have been evaluating the potential of establishing a Spanish prepared fruit business with our partners at Surexport for a number of years,” said BerryWorld’s managing director Ben Olins. “We believe that the factors that have made PrepWorld successful in the UK, a focus on quality, innovation and high technical standards, will work well in the Spanish market.”
Surexport managing director Andres Morales added: “With the expertise of our partners in a more mature market for prep and our knowledge in production and premium varieties, we will bring delicious, high-quality, healthy products to the Spanish consumer.”
Photo Credit: BerryWorld
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From the start of this month (March 2016) Ukraine has banned the importation of leafy vegetables from Spain.
According to the Director of the Phytosanitary Inspection Service of Ukraine, Vitali Romanchenko, the measure is necessary because of “repeated violation of phytosanitary protocols by Spanish products at border controls.”
The decision affects broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, endive, escarole and cabbage, as well as other varieties of Baby Leaf salad, which Spanish exporters supplied to Ukraine both fresh and refrigerated.
As Spain is Europe’s largest producer of brassicas and similar crops over the winter, Ukraine is likely to seek alternatives sources in North Africa. “If Spain is not suited to export to Ukraine, it remains to be seen whether other countries outside the EU will be able to guarantee the food safety standards Ukraine demands,” said one Spanish exporter.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons
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Spain’s Aqua Maris Foundation, which describes its purpose as investigating the therapeutic properties and potential uses of sea water, has published a study suggesting that sea water can be used to maintain water levels for crops.
According to reports, the researchers considered two approaches. The first was to create a water table using sea water and the second is to develop salt-tolerant plants.
Focusing on the latter, the Foundation has maintained a garden since 2006 using the principles of irrigation using groundwater. “We still have much to learn and test, but we have already got rid of the myth that sea water kills plants. The important thing is to learn how to use it and become familiar to how it works for different types of soil,” say the researchers.
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