Xtrema Fruit in 2018 © Xtrema Fruit
The 2nd National Stone Fruit Forum will take place on the Agromunity.com platform on November 5, from 4.30 to 8 pm. Due to the coronavirus pandemic situation, it will take place online, with over 2,000 registered agricultural professionals from around the world. The topics to be discussed will include the expected impact in January 2021 of the new European regulation for organic production and the situation of the stone fruit sector for the next campaign. The latest advances and developments in the sector will also be presented.
The presentations will be developed within different thematic blocks: Fertigation, Plant Health, New varieties and Alternative Crops, Ecological Agriculture and Marketing. In this last block there will be a round table in which those responsible for the associations of stone fruit producers of Extremadura, Murcia and Catalonia, which concentrate most of the Spanish production (Afruex, Apoexpa and Afrucat) and where they will analyse and discuss the state of the sector.
Among the experts who will participate as speakers are researchers from institutions such as Cicytex (Center for Scientific and Technological Research of Extremadura) or SEAE (Spanish Society for Ecological Agriculture), as well as from leading companies such as Bayer or Plantae.
The online event also has the collaboration and support of ICL Specialty Fertilizers, Alimentos de Extremadura, Eurofirms and Fruit Logistica.
The online event, organised by Agromarketing, is held in collaboration with Bayer, Afruex, Cicytex, ICL-SF, Alimentos de Extremadura, SEAE and Mercados Magazine.
Those interested in attending can register for free at www.xtremafruit.es.
Located in the Extremadura region, the summer production from Frutas Villacruz is dedicated to working with stone fruit and figs. “We like a challenge, and that’s why we specialise in fruits that are especially difficult to grow,” said manager Alfonso Cruz. “For example, as the yellow plum is so very delicate, we harvest it in the traditional way by hand picking, to avoid any marks on the skin.” This yellow skinned plum accounts for 70% the firm’s total plum output and the harvest period runs from mid-June to mid-November. The company’s supply is highly valued in Spain and Germany, as very few farmers produce it and hardly any of them achieve the quality of true experts like Frutas Villacruz. Another interesting niche was developed in early campaigns, with ultra-early nectarine and peach, making the company the first in the calendar to come out with its fruit, in May. The high quality of the Frutas Villacruz brand has garnered great fame and prestige, having managed to successfully explore niches in which it has subsequently specialised. Among the new features for this campaign, Alfonso Cruz emphasised an important increase in the planted area for figs and the increase ex – pected in dried fig volumes, too. “We are exploring new possibilities for industrially produced dried figs, for which we are investing in the best equipment and the latest technology.”
The 2nd degree cooperative association ‘Valle del Jerte’ sold 17,000 tons of cherries in 2015 from its 3,500 members located in Valle del Jerte and La Vera counties in Caceres, Extremadura. In addition to sales in Spain, cherries from Jerte were exported to Europe, Russia, Brazil and China.
The association recently invested in a new digital sorting machine that uses the centrifugal force of water to separate the fruit from the stalk. Each cherry is sorted by external defects and colour via an infrared optical system built into the sorting machine, which also has a cooling system, keeping the fruit at low temperature.
“We’re investing in preserving post-harvest fruit quality. On one hand, farmers have cut the delivery time between harvest and storage and we’re very strict on temperature control at the packing house. Quality and consumer satisfaction are major concerns for us,” the Valle del Jerte association’s commercial manager Pedro Garcia Mesías told Eurofresh Distribution.
Jerte farmers are planting new cherry orchards that should allow a potential harvest of 24,000 tons are over the next 4 years.