Posted on

Transitex opens rail link between Elvas and the Port of Huelva

Transitex opens rail link between Elvas and the Port of Huelva copyright. Transitex
© Transitex

 

Transitex will begin operating a weekly train between Elvas and the Port of Huelva in June 2020, marking a new phase in the company’s history. Transitex is aware of the growth of the region and the need for a varied offer of solutions that allows companies to continue growing in a sustainable way. The Port of Huelva, due to its growth, geographical proximity and the alternatives it offers, is a fundamental link in the success story that Transitex has helped to build, collaborating for the cohesion of this border area of ​​the peninsula.

Transitex began its activity in Elvas in July 2005 and operates between the logistics platform and the ports on the Atlantic coast. Containers are transported weekly from Elvas, offering logistics solutions from both sides of the border to increase the competitiveness of companies in the region. In the last 15 years, the ports of Sines, Setúbal, Lisbon and Leixões have received cargo transported by Transitex, a service integrated into the door-to-door offer that the network of its own offices allows it to build, across four continents.

Posted on

Fresón de Palos launches “Sustainable Strawberry” brand

Fresón de Palos launches “Sustainable Strawberry” brand

Fresón de Palos’ 2020 campaign got off to a normal start, with hopes of exceeding eighty million kilos. Among the novelties of the leading Spanish strawberry company based in Huelva, is the launch of “Sustainable Strawberry”, the brand that will be used for marketing its berries in a biodegradable container, thus reinforcing the cooperative’s commitment to the environment. In terms of infrastructure, Fresón de Palos will inaugurate this year a new storage centre, thus responding to the increase in volumes and the new formats that it will introduce to the entire range of berries.

Posted on

Spain’s berry sector calls for help from unemployed 

Spain’s berry sector calls for help from unemployed 

 

With the Spanish strawberry season in full swing, the sector is experiencing a dire shortage of manpower. Huelva’s berry sector alone traditionally hires around 15,000 seasonal labourers from Morocco, but with borders closed, only around 40% have arrived. This is likely to have a detrimental effect on the forthcoming berry and cherry campaigns.

This is leading the sector to call on the Spanish government to seek out a solution to salvage the campaign and maintain fresh fruit supplies to the country and abroad. The CC.OO., UPA, and other farming organisations are welcoming workers who have lost their jobs in this crisis to work in the berry harvest. UPA Huelva has launched a platform on its website to put job seekers and farmers in contact. Meanwhile, the CC.OO has asked  the Secretary of State for Migration to contract workers in other countries. 

 

Posted on

Increased blueberry production causes price crash

Increased blueberry production causes price crash

 

Spain’s berry capital, Huelva, saw an increase in blueberry production during this campaign, despite plants already being at full capacity. The cold January temperatures delayed the start of the campaign, but by April, the markets were saturated, with the addition of Spanish production to Moroccan and Portuguese. The month of April accounted for 34.4% of the campaign’s sales, compared to the three-year average of 28.3%. This caused a price collapse, which deepened in May, when 43.1% of the campaign’s blueberries were sold. Prices recovered in June along with the lower availability of the fruit.

 

Source: Consejeria de Agricultura Junta de Almeria

Posted on

Fortuna strawberry still dominates in Huelva

Fortuna strawberry still dominates in Huelva

 

The Fortuna strawberry variety continues to dominate production of the fruit in Huelva, Spain. A study by IFAPA shows that the very early Fortuna variety accounts for 39.4% of the plants transplanted from nurseries (compared to 37% in the previous campaign). The second most implanted variety is the Rociera, which has expanded very rapidly in the last campaigns, reaching 26% of strawberry plants in 2018/19. Rociera is also an early variety and offers high yields as well as good Brix and fruit firmness.

The third place is occupied by the Victory variety (10.5%), slightly down from last season (11.8%). In fourth and fifth places are Rabida (6.8%) and Primoris (4.1%). This last variety has declined a lot in recent years, despite presenting a medium-high firmness and a very high level of Brix, although much of its production is in the second commercial category.

 

Source: Consejeria de Agricultura Junta de Almeria

 

Posted on

Challenging raspberry campaign for Huelva

Challenging raspberry campaign for Huelva

 

This year, Huelva’s ​​raspberry production area did not expand by as much as it has in recent times. The season got off to a difficult start, with high August temperatures negatively affecting certain plant varieties, resulting in fruit deformation and lower quality. There was also rot in the fruits caused by the Suzuky fly and post-harvest shelling occurred in fruits of the Adelita variety. Despite these challenges, the sector was generally satisfied with the campaign. Production in the first months was down, and sales over the Christmas period slumped dramatically from last year. By May, volumes had recovered, with sales above average at a price of €4.73/kg, which is 8.6% below the average price level of May 2018.

 

Source: Consejeria de Agricultura Junta de Almeria

 

Posted on

Eurofresh Distribution & Fruit Logistica provide keys to success at fifth Berry Congress

Eurofresh Distribution & Fruit Logistica provide keys to success at fifth Berry Congress

Eurofresh Distribution & Fruit Logistica are sponsoring the 5th edition of the International Berry Congress in Huelva with “the largest capacity so far”, according to its organisers. More than 1,200 professionals from some 50 companies have gathered in the capital of Huelva to learn about the state of the berry sector both nationally and internationally. Filipe da Silva, head of global berry purchases at Jaguar and Sumit Saran, director of the Indian consultancy SS Associates will speak at the event lead the block of ‘work groups’ dedicated to analysing the new emerging markets for the berry sector.

Among the speakers at the event is Mamoud Dhanji, from Canada’s number-one importer, KROPS IMPORTS, who will discuss the market opportunities in North America, where the Spanish sector is hoping to reopen the market for berries.

“The Huelva Berry Congress is an unmissable event for Fruit Logistica. The berry sector is booming in Spain, its producers and buyers are expanding ever further internationally and we want to help them because the sector’s presence in Berlin is very important,” said Silvia de Juanes, communications director at Fruit Logistica for Spain and Latin America. Last year’s edition of Fruit Logistic featured the participation of 74 Andalusian companies, with 14 from the province of Huelva alone. The registration period for exhibitors who wish to participate in the next edition is open until July 31.

 

Posted on

Cuna de Platero: a global berry partner

Cuna de Platero is a cooperative specialising in the production of berries in Moguer, Huelva.

Cuna de Platero is currently working on the development of new soft fruit varieties that will enable it to position itself as its customers’ global berry partner, supplying them with tasty, top-quality fruit all year round, as it already does with raspberries.

For this campaign, more than 65% of its orchards will be planted with native varieties, such as Rábida, Primoris or Rociera. In addition, it will have the Fortuna and Dutch Calinda varieties, which combine great flavour features with a long post-harvest shelf life.

The firm’s commitment to differentiation now brings the launch of the Berrycatessen line for the Premium range.

The creation of its own brand with a special design and packaging, conceived to meet the expectations of the most demanding European consumers, brings together the best of Cuna de Platero’s assortment.

This campaign the focus is on consolidating Berrycatessen’s positioning.

“We want to improve our raspberries’ positioning in markets where they are already present and introduce them into the major potential markets which we have yet to penetrate,” said director general Juan Bañez.

It will also be including blueberries and blackberries, and work on development of Premium varieties is already underway.

Strawberries account for 60% of the produce from Cuna de Platero and volumes are expected to remain the same as last season, when figures reached 45,000 tons.

Although raspberries account for just 15%, the aim is to increase last year’s 1,500 ton volume by around 40% to reach 2,000 tons.

Blueberries, which today account for 16% of production, are also set for a volume increase, by 40%.

From 1,300 t exported last year, this year is expected to exceed 2,000 tons.

Blackberries are a minor niche showing significant growth: the aim is to achieve 50% growth in production volumes, from 50 to 100 tons.

Cuna de Platero works daily to consolidate a business model focused on economic probability, environmental friendliness and corporate social responsibility. Proof of the pudding is the cooperative’s collaboration in the Innocent drink project, which proposes irrigation water measuring and monitoring methods to reduce its water footprint, helping improve efficiency while preserving the surroundings.

Another outstanding feature is application of the Fresh Picking system in all the orchards, to improve the labour conditions for the workforce by avoiding harvesting during the hottest hours of the day and, at the same time, enhancing the fruit quality, as it is harvested fresher and needs fewer hours in cold storage, which means an important energy saving for the cooperative.

“Creating social value is another of our commitments. This way, we help to improve health conditions and quality of life for society,” Bañez said.

To this end, in the frame of Fruit Attraction 2016, the cooperative signed up for the Spanish Heart Foundation Food and Health Programme (PASFEC), whose mission is to promote the healthy properties of berries, encouraging a healthy diet and lifestyle,” explains the manager.

Both “Fresayunando”, a food education campaign aimed at children, and “Open doors” a training session for young professionals in the farming area, are examples of other initiatives promoted by the cooperative, designed to highlight the importance of responsible behaviour in the personal, group, social and environmental scope in forming part of an integrating society.

Cuna de Platero is a cooperative specialising in the production of berries in Moguer, Huelva. All their produce is local and 90% is destined for export to markets such as Germany, France, Italy, the UK and Eastern Europe.

Posted on

New consumer experiences from Grufesa

With 500 ha located in Huelva, Grufesa has earned a solid reputation as a strawberry specialist. However, in recent year it has diversified supply, repeating its success with premium blueberry and raspberry programmes, traded under the Mister Blue and Hanna brands.

Spanish company Grufesa’s first year up and running in the English market has brought a positive balance for the strawberry specialists from Huelva.

“Although we see that the UK is a highly demanding market, we do have all the necessary conditions to meet demand and we are quickly adapting to its requirements,” said manager Carlos Cumbreras.

Due to the strong focus on international exports, Grufesa has developed brands such as Hanna and Mister Blue, whose personality has worked very well in communicating the values of the produce, which is very well accepted by British consumers.

As packaging is a powerful tool to reach the consumer, the company has always been at the cutting-edge of innovation and proposing new formats.

“We’re now getting into new technologies so that the film protecting the berries will be more transparent, making the product more visible,” Cumbreras said.

“Always thinking of the final consumer: what they are like and what they like. We’re interested in bringing them new “consumer experiences”, either in groups or individually.”

Proof of the pudding is last year’s successful LOVE packaging, launched for sweethearts around St Valentine’s Day.

And this year, it is highlighted by the high demand for the COLOR ME interactive container, designed for children to colour in.

With 500 ha located in Huelva, Grufesa has earned a solid reputation as a strawberry specialist. However, in recent year it has diversified supply, repeating its success with premium blueberry and raspberry programmes, traded under the Mister Blue and Hanna brands.

About 30% of the fruit is grown by integrated production, with zero residues.

Always firm in its commitment to environmental stewardship and rigorous food safety, Grufesa will be the first European company to be Food Chain certified through GlobalG.A.P.

Posted on

Berries: Very positive performance for Florida Fortuna

Due to the great success of Florida Fortuna in recent years, the University of Florida breeding programme remains in a strong position and continues to utilise the most advanced technologies in research and development.

The 2015/2016 season has been very positive for the strawberry variety Florida Fortuna. The variety now holds 45-50% market share in Huelva. The high fall temperatures maximized its potential for earliness and productivity allowing growers to obtain the highest prices throughout the entire season.

Even after the inevitable price drop in the market, Florida Fortuna remains profitable due to its high yields. The excellent performance, consistent fruit quality and strong finish at the end of the season are the reasons that motivate the agricultural sector in Huelva to continue growing Florida Fortuna. It has proven to be the most profitable variety in the market yet.

For the 2016/2017 season Florida Fortuna once again remains the most widely planted cultivar in the sector. Its market share increased to 50-55% despite the overall decline in strawberry production in favour of other fruits such as raspberries and blueberries.

Due to the great success of Florida Fortuna in recent years, the University of Florida breeding programme remains in a strong position and continues to utilise the most advanced technologies in research and development.

Through the combination of traditional plant breeding and genomic-assisted breeding, Dr. Vance Whitaker and his team are able to evaluate double the number of seedlings in the first stage. This allows for a faster and more precise selection of new cultivars that express great potential for improved flavor, fruit quality, and disease resistance without jeopardizing earliness or high yield.

EMCO CAL has established trials in Huelva with the most promising advanced selections from the University of Florida breeding programme. The objective is to offer competitive, new commercial varieties that adapt well to the region. The company is committed to establishing synergies between strawberry producers, fruit marketers and plant breeding programmes in the industry while identifying new market niches for its variety portfolio.

EMCO CAL maintains good relationships within the major European markets. Through its participation in the leading international trade fairs, such as Fruit Attraction and Fruit Logistica, the company generates continuous opportunities for all involved in the industry.

This article appeared on page 78 of edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read more berries and other fresh produce sector news in that issue here: www.eurofresh-distribution.com/magazine/145-2016-sepoct